Kristen Ann Williams’ mural adorns the interior of the Walmart store in Logan.
Kristen Ann Williams’ mural adorns the interior of the Walmart store in Logan.
LOGAN – The Hocking Hills area has long been renowned for its breathtaking landscape. Intricate, historical caves, interesting fauna, and lush flora offer a whole world of exploration. The beauty and uniqueness of the area are appreciated and modeled by tourists and residents in many ways – one of the most prominent being art.
Local artist Kristen Ann Williams has shown her love and admiration through a mural decorating the inner wall of Logan’s Walmart at state Route 664 S. The mural is 24 feet by 8 feet and was painted using a mixture of watercolor and acrylic. The artwork was commissioned by Walmart to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the store’s opening, and to honor the scenery and history of the Hocking Hills.
When the job was first offered to her, Williams almost turned it down.She said she has turned down larger job offers in the past, and has stuck to smaller projects, but for her, this project felt different.
“I was intimidated by the job. It’s Walmart and it’s huge,” she said. “But something told me to accept the job and do it. So I did. There were a lot of firsts. I painted my first waterfall, my first cave, even my first Bigfoot.”
The painting features a lush forest and river, accented by a waterfall. It was inspired by the local tourist area Ash Cave and includes nine characters in total. The most noticeable characters are Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, and his dog Ol’ Roy. The mural also has Bigfoot hidden amongst the trees and foliage.
“Bigfoot also has a family hidden among the trees. A daughter and a wife. They’re well hidden, so you have to look for them, but they’re there,” Williams confided.
In the boat in the lake is Traudi Sunshine, a social media presence on Facebook, and Williams’ pastor’s son, who has been aged 30 years in the painting. The couple in the background, according to Williams, are simply two people who love each other. The characters on the left side of the mural, at the edge of the lake, are Walmart employee Fred Agresta and his late wife, Rita. After the passing of Williams’ late fiance, Joseph Herold Rodgers, Kristen befriended Agresta and the two bonded over their grief for the loss of their loved ones.
“I became really good friends with an employee named Fred. It was awesome how God brought our friendship together,” Williams said. Agresta and Williams attended church together and helped each other through their grief. Williams explained that she wanted to honor Fred and his wife in the painting, and honor his dedication to his work at Walmart. And as a tribute to her late fiance, she included the message “J8K” carved in a tree. Rodgers had made a carving into a tree to memorialize the couple’s love and admiration for each other before he passed.
“I feel like he (Joseph) was watching over me and is proud of me,” Williams said. “I wanted to honor him, too, in my work.”
Williams started the painting on Sept. 9, 2021, and finished it eight months later on May 15, 2022. The job was assigned to her by Susan Aldridge, who is the manager at Logan’s Walmart. Williams describes Aldridge as patient and supportive.
“Susan was extremely patient with me,” she said. “I was dealing with grief. That painting helped me get through my grief and I really want to give my appreciation to Susan for being so patient and understanding. She has a heart of gold.”
A devout Christian, Williams said that she found comfort and courage in her belief. She also expressed deep appreciation and thanks to all of the Walmart employees and customers who encouraged her and helped her keep going to finish the mural.
“People support each other there. The employees support each other and the customers have been nothing but kind to me,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience getting to paint this mural.”
The mural itself has become the talk of almost all who enter, with passing customers taking pictures of themselves in front of it and even the mobile app Pokémon GO making the mural a PokéStop that players can visit to capture Pokémon. Now that the project is completed, the mural will remain on the wall for everyone who visits Walmart to enjoy.
With the mural finished, Williams says her new goal is to give those around her hope again, which she aims to achieve with plans to build and operate a soup kitchen for Logan.
“I feel like it (the mural) brings people smiles, but it’s bittersweet to be done. Now I can move on to better things,” Williams said.
As part of a limited edition sale, Williams will be selling limited edition prints of her mural for $20 each to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of Walmart. Kristen can be contacted at artist_kristenwilliams@yahoo.com to purchase one of her prints.

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