A new mural was recently unveiled at the Barnesville Post Office following a year-long fund drive by the Belmont County Historical Society. Local artist Twila Fisher was commissioned by the group to paint a replacement for the original WPA-funded mural by Cleveland artist Michael Sarisky in 1937.
The original colorful mural "Air Mail" was hung in the Post Office lobby shortly after the federal government erected the building on East Church Street. It was one of 1,400 murals funded by the Great Depression era arts program.
When the lobby was painted in 1973, the mural was taken down and stored at the regional office in Zanesville where it went missing. Postal authorities declared the mural officially lost seven years later.
When current Post Office clerk Gina Pugh read about the mural’s history, she initiated the fund drive that resulted in the new mural.
Now, visitors to the local Post Office may again enjoy the vivid pastel colors of Fisher’s replacement "Air Mail" replacement mural.
The new replacement mural, owned by the Belmont County Historical Society, funded by generous donations was also supported by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council..