The trend gave way to other types of advertising, but in recent years this type of mural painting has returned and become a movement. From my somewhat limited perspective (this was my first time to see these), the Walldog experience is something that brings a community together, attracts tourists, and is simply fun. The Walldogs spend several days in a town, and at the end of the week, there are all these awesome murals which remain for people to enjoy (these days they're not about advertising, and from what I could see, they're more about commemorating the history and highlights of the town.
Delavan, Wisconsin is known for numerous things. It has a lovely lake, There are six Frank Lloyd Wright houses and a boathouse on the lake there, and there are many vacation homes. But (besides the lake and vacation fun) two things that Delavan is probably most noted for is The Wisconsin School for the Deaf (founded in 1852) and circus history.
There were a number of others we didn't get to see (there were a total of 18 murals, and we had to leave early, so we didn't get to see the completed projects, either), but we'll be back another day. They're going to add a clear finish to them to make them last, and I've been told that with luck, they'll be good for 25 years. In the meantime, here's a link to an image gallery with more of the process and the completed murals. We spoke with people who have become Walldog painters (whole families are involved) and it looks like fun!
Here's a video of some of the artists at work:
Right now I have an urge to visit more of the towns where the Walldogs have left their mark.