Finley Farms Ozark Mill mural

Springfield artist Stevie Rozean stands beside the mural she designed. 

Bass Pro Shops’ Finley Farms is growing a little at a time. It’s a little more eye-catching, thanks to three artists, including Stevie Rozean. 

Two months ago, Megan Morris, daughter of Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris, reached out to Rozean for her help in designing a mural for the Ozark Farmers Market. 

“(Morris) found me on Instagram, I’m pretty sure,” Rozean told the Christian County Headliner News. “She’s been following me for a while. I’ve helped her with some other projects, too.”

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Rozean resides in Springfield, where she runs two businesses, Wildly Collective, a full-service design, styling and planning company for elopements and weddings, and Stevie Rozean Co. 

“My art business is Stevie Rozean Co. I tell people it’s custom illustration and design for businesses and lifestyles,” she said. “A lot of my stuff is branding and design for small businesses, and specifically creative small businesses, but then I also do custom portraits and illustrations for just home and lifestyles.”

Rozean’s artistic style caught Morris’s eye. She asked Rozean to design the mural at the new site of the Ozark Farmers Market. It’s Rozean’s biggest project to date. The mural at the mill stretches approximately 96 feet and stands roughly 12 feet tall. It also wraps around the structure’s sides, about 30 feet wide. 

“It was my first time doing something that large,” Rozean said. “It’s three sides, and then, you know, the opposite side is where the farmers market goes.”

Rozean said she worked approximately 50 hours to design three mural drafts. 

“(Morris) had some inspiration photos of just like, types of art that she liked. She had some general guidance of wanting it to represent Ozark and what they’re doing with the mill and Finley Farms,” Rozean said. “But then, she kind of gave me creative freedom, which was really cool.”

Rozean said that after one of the three drafts was chosen, she worked another 10 hours, refining her work to fit exactly what Morris wanted. At the beginning of May, Rozean finally got to see the mural, as she drove into town, just past the Kum & Go at the corner of Jackson and Ninth Streets. 

“It feels kind of surreal, actually,” Rozean said. “When I drove up to it, there were actually people still painting it, and it was just really cool to see that my own piece of art is going to be on display all the time.”

The mural itself was painted by a team of muralists who have worked with Bass Pro previously. 

Emily Million and Andrea Ehrhardt, from Springfield and Wheatland, respectively, were both part of the same Missouri State University art program. Roughly six years ago, both were hired by Bass Pro Shops to beautify its locations. The pair have since worked in Alaska, to New Brunswick and the Toronto area in Canada, all the way down to Dania Beach, Florida, where they just were last week working on a project for seafood restaurant Islamorada Fish Company, part of a Bass Pro Shops complex. In addition, Ehrhardt is responsible for many street art pieces, including a “Welcome to Springfield” mural on the outside of Springfield’s Discovery Center, as well as the giant, monarch butterfly wings that brighten the Springfield’s downtown area and inspire hundreds of visitors to stop to take photographs.

The muralists’ previous projects are a little different compared to what Rozean designed for Ozark. 

“You usually see a lot of depth and realism in Bass Pro’s pieces,” Million said. “So, it was really fun to break the design down into really just five colors. We’re pretty versatile, so anything that’s a little bit different is fun.”

The muralists are excited to see all the good the Ozark Mill will bring to Ozark. Like Rozean, they’re happy to have a hand in the project. 

“They’re really revamping the area, which is so nice to see,” Ehrhardt said. “It’s nice to be a part of something that’s bringing a little more color to Ozark.”

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