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Mural artist capturing iconic wrestlers on Waterloo museum wall

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

He's a nationally-recognized artist who has painted more than 70 wrestling paintings this year alone for the WWE -- but he has saved his largest piece of work for Iowa.

Not only is it the latest piece of artwork for the Dan Gable International Wrestling Museum in Waterloo, but it's also the largest the artist has ever done.

Rob Schamberger of Kansas City is taking on a 12-by-8 canvas to capture some of the most iconic wrestlers in the industry.

With wrestling icons like Dan Gable, Lou Thesz, Dan Hodge and Kurt Angle represented in the mural, Schamberger hopes to bring out the spirit of the sport.

"To bring across both what they do in the ring or on the mat, and also pay honor to everything they have done," he said.

Just to give you an idea on how big these subjects actually are, if one of these men were to jump out of the mural and stand next to you, they'd be twice as tall -- towering 12 feet.

This is not the first piece of work from Schamberger, who gave the museum 40 pieces from his WWE collection.

According to the museum director, the new piece is a bargain, and they are humbled by Schamberger's second donation.

"I think he put it best -- if you had to pay for this, you couldn't afford me," said Kyle Klingman, director. "I think it's very gracious of Rob to be a part of this and, like I said, to have the best in the business to come here, to have his art on display and have him donate his time." 

The mural is a representation of a long-standing Iowa tradition. The museum hopes that it will help inspire others to continue that tradition.

"Experience what wrestling has to offer -- we want that to translate into bigger and better things," Klingman said. "Of course, we have a big youth opportunity here when youth come in and see that this could be me."

The mural will be finished Thursday for a private unveiling to kick off the museum's Hall of Fame weekend.

You can see the painting starting Friday.

The mural will also include four other athletes and coaches. The museum has not yet revealed who they are.

Written by Jessica Hartman, Multimedia Journalist

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