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The Lake News Online
  • Artist using street art inspiration to bring color to Bagnell Dam Strip

  • A once completely stark white wall on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark is in the process of being turned into a masterpiece by an artist that has called the lake area home for two years.
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  • A once completely stark white wall on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark is in the process of being turned into a masterpiece by an artist that has called the lake area home for two years. Hillary Werth, 27, spends most of her time painting either in her home studio on the Westside of the lake or lately near the Lake Live stage on the Strip.
    Art has always been a part of Werth's life, but it wasn't until recently that she decided to turn it into a career. Little did she know that soon she would embark on a new project that will leave a lasting impression on the lake area.
    "Originally I was just going to paint live at Hot Summer Nights," Werth said. She was then approached by Joe Page, the owner of Summer USA, and was asked to create a mural on the more than 40-foot long wall beside the new Lake Live stage.
    The stage is used for live music and entertainment on the weekends and is surrounded by bright and colorful tables and stools for visitors to relax on while enjoying ice-cream and the live entertainment. Werth's art is the perfect match for such a bright venue.
    Her abstract, pop-art pieces are filled with vibrant colors and depth.
    "My art focuses a lot on balance and composition," Werth said. "I thought if I do this whole wall, I'll go crazy because I am so OCD. I broke it up into geometric shapes so that I can still have that balance and composition within each shape."
    The mural resembles street art seen in large cities, which is not common for Lake of the Ozarks.
    "I think it's pretty cool for this community because there is not a whole lot of that here," Werth said of the type of art her mural showcases.
    Werth comes from a family of athletes and ran track for UCLA in college. During her time in California, her love for art was heightened.
    "Every other corner, you would see street art," she recalled. "Just being up close and person with famous graffiti and street artists that do that kind of stuff and living there and seeing that all the time definitely played a big part in how I create."
    She attributes her love for bright colors to her mother that dabbled in painting when Werth was young. She also builds her own canvas which she says she gets from her father who enjoys tinkering with projects in his own workshop.
    Werth found herself at the lake after being injured while training to compete on the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team. She is originally from Springfield, Ill. but has vacationed at the lake for years with her family.
    Page 2 of 2 - Werth has been pleasantly surprised with the community's response to her mural so far.
    "A lot of people have taken to it a lot better than I anticipated," she said.
    Werth officially began the mural on June 11 by applying three coats of primer. She hopes to finish the mural made of a mixture of acrylic and spray paints by June 25.
    Werth's art can be found on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hillarywerthart.
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