What happened to the Greetings from Canton mural in downtown Canton? Here’s what we know

  • The Canton Repository sought to find out why the postcard-style mural in downtown Canton was removed.
  • The building’s new owner plans to have a new, similar mural painted in the same location.
  • Separately, local officials are seeking a new location for a postcard-style mural.
A postcard-style mural that said

CANTON − A popular photo backdrop for locals and visitors of downtown Canton over the past eight years is gone.

The postcard-style Greetings from Canton mural on the side of the former Buzzbin building has been covered with black and dark gray paint.

The repainting, which began July 20, took some residents by surprise, prompting a flurry of angry and perplexed social media posts. Even city leaders lamented the loss, saying they too were caught off guard.

So, what happened? Why was it removed? Will a new postcard mural be created?

The Canton Repository talked with the Buzzbin building’s new owner, the artist who painted the mural and Canton’s planning director to find out.

Here’s what we know:

This Repository file photo from 2015 shows painters putting the finishing touches on the postcard-style mural. The mural, painted by Victor Ving, was recently removed from the side of the former Buzzbin building at 331 Cleveland Avenue NW in Canton.

Postcard mural was among downtown Canton’s first large-scale street art

The mural was the brainchild of photographer Lisa Beggs, a 2006 GlenOak High graduate, and her now-husband Victor Ving, a spray paint graffiti artist turned muralist. Together, they own and operate Greetings Tour, which has created more than 50 murals across 25 different states.

The couple, then living in New York, approached ArtsInStark about creating a mural in downtown Canton in December 2014 while they were in Stark County shopping for an RV that they would use to tour the United States as part of their nationwide mural project.

When they returned in April 2015 to pick up the RV, Ving spent roughly three days spray painting the southern-facing wall at 331 Cleveland Ave. NW to create the Greetings from Canton mural, which measures 14 feet by 25 feet.

Using the classic large-letter postcard style, Ving incorporated Canton landmarks and notable people, such as President William McKinley, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Palace Theatre and the Stark County Courthouse clocktower. He partnered with Canton artist Steve Ehret on the “O” that contains a monster overtop Buzzbin.

Ving and Beggs, who now reside in California, learned of the mural’s removal from Ehret and other friends. Ving said this is the first time one of his Greetings murals has been covered.

“That one in particular was a bit meaningful because it was one of our first outside of New York,” Ving said. “And that’s where we bought the RV.”

A postcard-style mural that said

New building owner says a new mural is ‘going to be even nicer’

Eric Evans, whose Canton Township-based Dubb Enterprises Unlimited purchased the former Buzzbin in October 2022, said he is working with Ving to create a new mural for the building.

“It was getting old and faded,” Evans said. “… I didn’t want another artist because I loved that mural. If someone else does it, they’re not going to do it like him. I’m glad I got in contact with him because he’s going to do an even better one.”

Evans, who hopes the city of Canton can help with funding for the new mural, would like to have the mural repainted this year, in time for the grand opening of his business, which he declined to publicly identify last week.

“It’s going to be even nicer,” Evans said of the mural. “I can’t wait to see it.”

A postcard-style mural that said

Local officials are looking for a new mural location

Separately, Canton city officials and representatives from the Downtown Canton Partnership, ArtsInStark and Visit Canton are searching for a new location for the postcard-style mural.

“We are really rallying due to the public’s outcry (over the postcard mural’s removal),” Canton Planning Director Donn Angus said.

Angus prefers that the mural be painted on a publicly owned structure so they don’t have to again worry that a private business owner could choose to remove it.

“The new painting of the (former Buzzbin) building is attractive,” said Angus, who hadn’t talked to Evans as of Thursday. “It’s just a shame we lost the Canton postcard.”

The group plans to meet Tuesday to discuss some possible locations, as well as discuss possible funding options. Angus estimated the mural could cost roughly $20,000 to complete.

Ving said he would prefer to paint the mural in a different location than a wall that faces a parking lot because he worries a building could be constructed on the parking site and the mural would be hidden from view.

No matter the location, Ving said, the earliest he likely could paint the new mural would be next year due to his other upcoming projects and because he can’t paint when the weather turns cold.

A postcard-style mural that said

New mural likely would be subject to new city regulations

Canton City Council is considering changes to the city’s zoning and planning code regarding murals.

The proposed changes, which are being recommended by the Canton Planning Commission, specify permissible locations for murals, physical design requirements and prohibited types of murals (those resembling traffic signs that could confuse motorists, for example). It also requires applicants to submit a maintenance plan for the mural and states that any mural that is not maintained or that falls into a state of disrepair may be ordered to be removed or covered within 30 days.

Angus said none of the changes would affect a new postcard-style mural from being installed downtown.

“We’ve always had a code for murals,” he said. “This is just updating it so it’s more user friendly and there’s no gray area for applicants.”

A public hearing on the proposed mural code changes will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 in Canton City Council chambers.

Reach Repository staff writer Kelli Weir at 330-580-8339 or [email protected].

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