While this weekend, Kewanee will go hog wild, the city’s downtown is also known for letting out the dogs with artists from the Walldogs leaving a mark honoring Kewanee’s past.

Kewanee Walldogs Joy Hernandez said, “Kewanee is this little town that no one should have ever really heard of.”

But Kewanee native Joy Hernandez said that is far from the case, and people only need to look up to see why.

Hernandez said, “Have some sort of innate drive to, maybe it’s what’s in the water, but it’s some innate drive to go and do what we can do.”

As residents go about their lives, the walls depict what successes they’ve seen and people they’ve produced.

Hernandez said, “Neville Brand was a famous actor. I know back in the day he played Al Capone in the Untouchables.”

This documentation started back in 2013 when hundreds of muralists from the group Walldogs painted 15 portraits in five days after selecting the town.

Hernandez said, “A lot of these towns are rust belt towns, where the factories closed, or they need that little boost.”

They’re more than just quick introductions.

Hernandez said, “Trains that come in, so there’s a welcome to Kewanee. That’s the one I got to work on, so I’m a little proud of that one.”

There’s the 1942 downtown fire, which introduced Hernandez to a woman remembering the devastation.

Hernandez said, “She was seven years old when it  happened, and she told me that just as a little kid reacting off the reactions of the adults, she though the Japanese were attacking.”

Also the past industries.

Hernandez said, “Kewanee boilers. That’s something we’re known nationwide. Some of the boilers are still in existence.”

Hernandez said, “Sandy’s. That was a hamburger place that eventually bought by Hardees.”

Now, it’s turned into a yearly event called the Prairie Chicken Festival that last year was used to add the mural to remember the first Illinois African American architect and Kewanee native Walter Bailey.

That even involved tracking down his long-lost granddaughter.

Hernandez said, “Roots here now. She didn’t really feel she had some before, but she does here.”

Hernandez said they’re going to keep adding these paintings.

Hernandez said, “I want to see us keep painting a mural a year.”

That leaves plenty to explore. 

And of course, on one there are pigs.

The polls are currently open to vote for the 18th mural. Each vote does require a donation to fund the next mural and whichever idea raised the most will be selected.