Client: Central Mutual Insurance

Location: Van Wert, OH, United States

Completion date: 2007

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team


Robert L Barnum

RL Barnum Studios


Struggle and Security is a ten panels stretched canvas interior mural dedicated to the Human capacity to face and overcome difficult challenge. Approximately 1800 square foot of oil rendered canvases spaced over three floors of a new atrium that serves as the entrance for the new corporate headquarters for Central Mutual Insurance in Ohio. Struggle and Security is not based on photographic reference or stands as a historical correct document rendered in oil paint. Struggle and Security is a visual statement dedicated to human will.


GOALS: STRUGGLE and SECURITY is a dedicated public mural environment. Dedicated by content, dedicated to the drawing driven narrative and most importantly dedicated to the human story. Struggle and Security attempts in visual terms simple human truths. In a current market of “Pretty” public art Struggle and Security has a defined and deliberate agenda. To use non-photographic inspired or based images to inspire a belief in the human capacity to face and overcome chaos. The goal was to create a sort of inspiring energy. An implied energy in rendered forms that are dominated by stylized human shapes and human driven kinetics.


Struggle and Security was an enormous undertaking, Ten stretched canvas panels rendered in multiple layers of oil paint. All my oil based murals require a complete charcoal drawing to scale that is then rendered into the canvas with a small tint of Burnt Umber oil paint to define the required complex narrative as swell as establish each images value base. All work from concept, stretching, rendering ETC. is done under my hand. To install on site in the atrium of his large Midwest insurance company required commercial scaffolding that scaled at 90’ long and 40’ high.

Additional Information

It is the mark you leave as an artist that might inspire that arts longevity!