Jefferson City man pursues artistic passion through Fulton VFW ceiling tiles

Saxon Scheidegger (left) and his dad, Shawn Scheidegger, stand in the Fulton VFW underneath Shawn Scheidegger’s artwork — the ceiling tiles. The tiles commemorate a veteran, alive or lost. Scheidegger has been pursuing art since childhood and said when he enters the Fulton VFW, he “spends the entire time looking up at (the ceiling tiles).” Saxon Scheidegger, 11, said his favorite ceiling tiles are the ones that feature military machinery.

Saxon Scheidegger (left) and his dad, Shawn Scheidegger, stand in the Fulton VFW underneath Shawn Scheidegger’s artwork — the ceiling tiles. The tiles commemorate a veteran, alive or lost. Scheidegger has been pursuing art since childhood and said when he enters the Fulton VFW, he “spends the entire time looking up at (the ceiling tiles).” Saxon Scheidegger, 11, said his favorite ceiling tiles are the ones that feature military machinery. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

The ceiling tiles in the Fulton VFW are more than that — they are pieces of art work. The tiles illustrate the personality of the veteran who has died or had a tile dedicated to.

Elvis. Busch beer. Military machinery. That and more show off the lives of veterans at the VFW.

It’s all the work of Shawn Scheidegger, a mechanic and artist from Jefferson City. Scheidegger said Steve Harding, president of the Fulton Men’s Auxiliary, asked him to paint the tiles about three or four years ago. In the beginning, the process was “trial and error,” he said, and using paint wasn’t always the best approach.

He discovered sharpies, stencils and air brush were the keys to creating the decorated ceiling tiles.

“It was oddly enough the way to go,” Scheidegger said.

Art was a passion of Scheidegger’s early on in his life. He said that although all children draw and color, it was a constant activity for him. Scheidegger remembered how his social studies teacher would hang his artwork up on the classroom wall.

“Art always stuck with me,” he said.

After high school Scheidegger followed in his father’s footsteps and became a mechanic. He would build motorcycles with his friends, and one asked Scheidegger to paint his motorcycle. That was the start of his custom painting business, Digger’s Kustom Paint, a side job and hobby for him.

Since then, whenever Scheidegger is presented with an opportunity to paint and draw he takes it.

“I always say I will paint anything anybody wants painted,” Scheidegger said. “If you wanted me to paint every page in your phone book, I’d do it.”

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