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Encouraging others: Meg Wagler sends positive messages through her murals

Artist Meg Wagler stands in front of a mural she helped create in downtown Springfield
Michele Skalicky
Artist Meg Wagler stands in front of a mural she helped create in downtown Springfield

Our Sense of Community Series, "Living Through Art," features residents in our community who express their identities through various art forms.

As you walk down the Fulbright Spring Greenway Trail from Lost Hill Park—just after you exit the woods—you’ll cross a bridge. Before long, you’ll come to an old building. It boasts a vibrant mural painted in royal blue, aqua, yellow, white, pink and red with the message “The Future is Bright.”

The artist who created that mural is Meg Wagler. She lives in Springfield and is responsible for several other public art pieces.

Following her passion

Standing beneath a mural she helped create recently in downtown Springfield, Wagler said she’s had a love for drawing—and a talent for it—for much of her life.

About three years ago, Wagler stepped out on her own as an independent artist and illustrator.

"I think for me it was just trying to—needing to better hone what I wanted to bring to the community and kind of how I wanted to see my contributions come to life," Wagler said.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but Wagler’s glad she did it.

"You know, it's kind of like deciding to have kids," she said. "You're always busy. There's always some reason that it may not work out or I think in some ways you kind of just have to believe in yourself and take a leap of faith and then by necessity you have to make it work."

Meg Wagler's work

Wagler has been busy. When asked how many murals she’s created so far, she couldn’t give an exact number.

One mural, on Robberson at McDaniel in downtown Springfield, was painted during the recent MIDXMIDWST Festival, which Wagler directed.

"I tag-teamed with another phenomenal local artist, Christine Riutzel out of Branson who goes by 'Beauty From Light,'" she said.

Many of Wagler’s murals are in business settings including St. George’s Donuts, Foster Adopt Connect and Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.

Messages of encouragement

The messages on the murals promote self love.

"It just provides this extra little bit of delight in, you know, your daily hustle, right? So, you're always going from one to the other very quickly, and we're all very busy," Wagler said.

Some of her art school training was in lettering and letter design, so the messages allow her to use that talent.

A mural painted by Meg Wagler along the Fulbright Spring Greenway Trail in north Springfield
Michele Skalicky
A mural painted by Meg Wagler along the Fulbright Spring Greenway Trail in north Springfield

Wagler enjoys working with vibrant paint colors.

When she’s not painting murals Wagler enjoys creating editorial illustrations and working in product development and illustrations.

"Like most artists I like to have a variety of projects going throughout the year," she said.

Art as a connector

One reason Wagler loves being an artist is that she can tap into her creative side and share the results with the community.

"So, there's the personal satisfaction of bringing my skill set to the community," she said. "But I think, as a community member, you know, art is the ultimate connector. I think that whether you like or dislike whatever the piece is, if you talk about it then it's already doing its job."

You can find out more about Meg Wagler’s artwork at megwagler.com.