St. Robert residents are in for a surprise and real treat for the eyes at the end of the month. Acclaimed artist Ray "Bubba" Sorenson will be stopping in St. Robert to paint the city's Freedom Rock as part of his 50 State Freedom Rock Tour.
Freedom Rocks painted by Sorenson are meant to honor veterans and those currently serving in the Armed Forces.
Sorenson will be in St. Robert, on August 28, painting the large boulder that has been placed on St. Robert Boulevard, in a place of honor, near the tank, and the large group of boulders that military organizations have been painting to represent themselves.
An enclosure will be built over the rock, according to the city, in order to protect it from the weather and to preserve the mural Sorenson will paint on it.
The design of St. Robert's Freedom Rock is a mystery that will only be revealed when Sorenson finishes painting it. According to Jerry Watkins, St. Robert Park Facilities Lead, Sorenson will develop the design that he paints on the rock as he works.
Watkins told the Daily Guide that Sorenson learns information about the area, is provided with background and history by the city, and "gears" his painting towards the area.
Sorenson started out painting one Freedom Rock in his homes state of Iowa in 1999 as a way to honor veterans on Memorial Day. He would repaint it differently every year. Then Sorenson added all the counties in his home state. Currently he's working on a 50 state tour and taking applications from places in those states to start booking Freedom Rocks.
Sorenson was already a successful mural artist, but he is gaining fame painting the Freedom Rocks that can be found in four different states. St. Robert's Freedom Rock will be the third one located in Missouri, according to Sorenson's website.
The first Missouri Freedom Rock is located in Maryville, in the northwestern part of the state, while the second is located in Cape Girardeau in the southeastern part of the state. St. Robert's central location will be the third one for the state.
Sorenson plans to be finished with St. Robert's Freedom Rock by September 11, 2017. The city plans to hold a formal unveiling ceremony after Sorenson completes the mural.
Individuals interested in seeing Sorenson's work on other Freedom Rocks can visit his website at www.thefreedomrock.com. Images of the rocks that he's painted are available throughout the website.