An El-Salvadorian mural has been painted on the “True North” insurance building as part of a programming grant given to the Perry Public Library from the American Library Association (ALA) in 2015. The mural fell into the category of the grant’s theme – Latino Americans: 500 Years of History in the U.S.


“The whole idea of this grant is a year-long celebraton and education of Latino Americans rich in varied history and culuture in the United States, and in Perry, Iowa,” Library Director, Mary Murphy said.


The mural is the last of seven projects featured from the grant. Previously, the grant included the following programs: “Latino Festival” on August 29, 2015, “Community-Wide Read: Enrique’s Journey” on October 18, 2015, “Conversations with Coffee” on both October 28 and November 4th, 2015, “Latinos in the Military” on January 12, 2016, “Migrant Worker Reform” on March 24, 2016, and “Latino Progressive Dinner” on May 6, 2016.


The original location for the mural was planned for the library, but switched after the board decided against the spot. From there, a variety of locations were tossed around before the “True North” building became a prime spot.


“Our building needed something there and it’s a good place for that,” Bill Clark, _ said on the addition of the mural.


The mural was painted by artist and Adjunct Assistant Art professor at Iowa State University, Jennifer Drinkwater. After telling her the theme, Murphy said Drinkwater created a design based on the location, a factor that continued to change.


“Jennifer Drinkwater has done various interpretations of Katino american immigrant story and I really like what she’s come up with,” Library Director, Mary Murphy said. “She has done several things in Perry,”


Drinkwater began painting the mural this year, following the design phase finalizing last fall.


“She is obviously talented and has been coming down on Thursday’s mostly to work on it,” Clark said.

Murphy believes the final location for the mural is a great spot, especially for those who are simply walking by.


“I liked the idea because anybody going out the back door - its right there,” Murphy said. “It was almost secluded, but not.”