Jay Robert Allen

Jay Robert Allen

Award-winning muralist, Jay Robert Allen, has worked tirelessly in the public art realm for over 20 years. He has been the owner and president of ShawCraft Sign Company in Machesney Park, Illinois for over 30 years, and he is one of the original members of the Walldogs Public Art Group. With his distinct approach to customer service, creativity and dedication to his craft, Jay’s work is truly inspirational.

As a young child Jay was very conscious that his view of the world was “unique” and his calling to be creative and enliven that world around him was the catalyst to a life-long career in the arts. His commitment to the arts and his participation in public art has created permanent and temporary works to enhance and enliven communities, via collaborative efforts that create new synergies.

Mr. Allen has been a long time partner and supporter of the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition (ILHC). He served as the designer and contributing painter to the ILHC’s 35 mural project. His dedication to the project was outstanding, going above and beyond expectations to ensure each mural’s distinct design relayed the exciting stories of the Lincoln Highway to the visitor. The mural series truly became a legacy project for Jay. He describes the call for public art as “The goal of any community wishing to create these transformative experiences for visitors MUST include making public art a more visible and accessible part of the urban landscape.”

Jay Robert Allen’s gift of design, artistic talent and love of humanity spill over into everything he is involved in, and every person he encounters.


Bill Hueg

Bill Hueg

Mr. Hueg was a contributing painter and consultant to the Illinois Lincoln Highway Mural Project through ShawCraft Sign Company.  His extreme attention to detail was truly an asset to the mural paintings. Bill’s efforts ensured the accurate portrayal of the historic time period within the mural series.

Bill Hueg was born in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York and was reared and educated in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was in the seventh grade that Hueg knew he wanted to be an artist, not knowing what that actually meant.

During his high school years, Hueg was creating black and white drawings of many subjects, designing posters for the drama department as well as for the dances held at his school. Upon graduation, he continued his studies in graphic arts as well as studying at the Atelier Lack, a traditional fine art school specializing in classical drawing and painting. In 1978 he began an apprenticeship with Michael J. Lehen at MasterCraft Sign Company to concentrate on the art of large format painting on billboards.

In 1984 Hueg founded Signs of Distinction, and focused on billboard art as well as classic, high-end gold leaf lettering and signs. He became active in the international group of Letterheads, an assembly of sign artisans dedicated to the preservation of traditional sign making techniques. During this time he was the recipient of several national design awards for his pictorial work as well as his gold leaf work on glass work.

In 1993 the sign business began to change with the advent of computer technology. Hueg was looking for other ways to express his ideas and began to consider sculpture. In his past work, the idea was to make a two dimensional painting appear to have depth. He figured that making objects in the round was a natural progression in achieving this illusion. In 1994 Hueg moved to Westminster, Colorado and began the study of figure sculpture in Loveland, Colorado, an internationally recognized center for bronze sculpture and its supporting industries.

Hueg continues to strive for excellence in all aspects of his work. This work includes studio paintings, large and small scale murals, and large and small scale bronze sculptures that are created in his studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also continues to accept commissions that require his services.


Joe Marshall

Joseph Marshall

Mr. Marshall served as Project Engineer on the Illinois Lincoln Highway Mural Project. His superior workmanship for the mural panel fabrication, text and
borders was truly an asset to the overall look of each painting.  Joe also provided the installation details for mural series.

Joseph Marshall is an artist at ShawCraft Sign Company, located in Machesney Park, Illinois and has been employed there for 20 years. He received his BFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, Tennessee.