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Barn Artist Says No Sign Or Building Is Too Big
At 39, Scott Hagan has earned the title of The Barn Artist, with 20 years of experience painting big signs and murals on farm buildings, following the tradition of the Mail Pouch tobacco painters before him. But instead of painting the same thing over and over, the Jerusalem, Ohio, artist paints whatever customers want and on whatever they want. Besides wood barns, he paints on metal buildings, grain bins and silos. His biggest challenge was painting four signs 155 ft. in the air on a grain elevator.
  “So far I’ve painted in 18 states. My goal is to paint in every state,” Hagan says.
  He grew up on a beef farm, and his first big art was an Ohio State University logo that filled an end of his family’s barn. It attracted attention, and Hagan was commissioned by the state to paint on barns in all 88 counties of Ohio.
  It was while planning for that project that he met Harley Warrick, the last of the Mail Pouch painters, who lived just 20 minutes from Hagan’s home. The young artist appreciated the advice Warrick gave him as well as a 20-ft. plank he used for scaffolding.
  Hagan still has it and appreciates its simplicity. But for safety and access to the tall structures he paints, he developed a pump jack scaffold system that he raises and lowers with a cordless drill. About a fifth of his projects require renting a lift to reach greater heights.
  Customers appreciate the customized designs and sheer size of Hagan’s paintings.
  “A lot of my signage and barn art is from edge to edge,” he says.
  His process is to have customers email or mail photos of the building they want painted and a description or photo of what they want painted on it. Hagan uses a computer to adjust the scale to what the customer wants. Sometime it’s a modern look, other times they want it painted to look aged.
  The customer can prepare the surface - pressure wash, hand-scrape and paint with primer and base coat - or hire Hagan to do it.
  Hagan uses quality paint, and though he sprays the primer and base coats, he always follows up with a brush.
  “The paint needs to be worked into the wood with a brush. This gives an outstanding finish,” he explains. All his art is painted with a brush.
  He has painted tractors, animals, logos, and public service slogans on all types of buildings. He’s added color and spirit to many school gyms with mascot and school colors paintings. Travelers on the I-80/90 turnpike see his giant painting of President Rutherford B. Hayes on a Fremont, Ohio barn,
  “They are all rewarding,” Hagan says of his paintings, but some of his favorites include flags. An eagle/flag silhouette for a mother whose son was deployed overseas attracted a lot of social media attention, which was uplifting to the mother.
  Hagan adds he would also like to do more Christian art. Then there’s that goal of doing a painting in every state.
  “One perk of the job is that I’ve gotten to see a lot of the country,” he says, and he’s ready to see more. With his truck and toy hauler camper he’d like to take his equipment, wife and daughters on a road trip across country mixing painting and family time.
  He invites FARM SHOW readers to check out his website for information and photos of his work.
  “I’m the guy to call when the scale is large or the surface is unusual,” he says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Scott Hagan, Barn Artist, 55120 New Castle Rd., Jerusalem, Ohio 43747 (ph 740 310-7494; www.barnartist.com; barnartist@gmail.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2