‘Barn Artist’ to Paint Murals of Ohio Generals at State Fair

Scott Hagan, Ohio’s famous “Barn Artist,” has been selected by the Ohio History Connection to paint murals of two decorated military leaders from Ohio, generals Ulysses S. Grant and Charles Young, in the Cox Fine Arts Center at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus.

If you want to see Hagan in action, he'll paint daily from approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Friday, July 29, during the State Fair. He expects to complete the Young mural Monday, Aug. 1, and the Grant mural Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Robert Stewart, Superintendent of the National Park Service’s Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, will be on hand for the completion of the Young mural.

The murals were designed by graphic artist David Browning of Columbus.

Both Grant and Young are Ohio generals and important historical figures on a national level.

Grant is one of eight Ohioans who have served as U.S. president. He also led the Union Army to victory over the Confederate States during the Civil War as the President Abraham Lincoln’s highest-ranking general.

Young’s legacy as a soldier, diplomat and civil rights leader has continued to grow with his received posthumous promotion to brigadier general earlier this year. His promotion in April retroactively makes him the first Black American recognized with that rank as he continues to be an inspiration for new generations of military leaders.

Grant and Young also have milestone anniversaries in 2022: Grant was born 200 years ago in Point Pleasant, Ohio, and Young, who moved to southwest Ohio as a child, died 100 years ago in addition to receiving his general’s star this year.

Hagan gained fame in the late 1990s after he started painting favorite sports logos on old barns in his Belmont County community. He was noticed by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and hired to paint its official logo on barns around the state. From 1998 to 2003, as part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration, Hagan painted 89 barns, one in each county. (One county’s barn was destroyed in a tornado and was replaced by another.)

The traveling artist has been creating larger-than-life hand-painted signs ever since and has earned his own place in Ohio history.

To learn more about the Ohio History Connection, go to ohiohistory.org.

For more about Hagan, go to barnartist.com.

For more about the State Fair, go to ohiostatefair.com.

For more about the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, go to nps.gov/chyo.