[caption id="attachment_17314" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2017\/08\/Barn-2.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="369" class="size-full wp-image-17314" \/> This barn, owned by Jack Burks in Cook Town, stands out on the horizon with its bright red paint job and anti-tobacco message. The barn was painted by \u201cThe Barn Artist,\u201d\u2008Scott Hagan, of Jerusalem, Ohio. The other side of the barn contains a thought-provoking quote: \u201cThose things you say will never happen to you? They happen.\u201d S. Stewart photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nSuzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nIn a state where barns were once used to advertise Mail Pouch tobacco, now, thanks to anti-tobacco organizations, barns are promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle.\r\n\r\nEarlier this month, The Barn Artist Scott Hagan spent a week in Cook Town painting a barn owned by Jack Burks. Using a simple palette of fire engine red and bold black and white letters, Hagan put his talents to good use by sharing the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] Quit Hotline number and a quote from a previous smoker.\r\n\r\nThe Burks barn is the second in West Virginia to be painted with a \u201cquit\u201d message through the joint efforts of the CDC Tobacco Free organization and Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett.\r\n\r\nHagan said he was worked with Puckett on such projects for several years now and enjoyed his time in Pocahontas County.\r\n\u201cI\u2019m very open,\u201d Hagan said. \u201cI\u2019ll go wherever the job is. We\u2019re just offering the opportunity for people to see the quit line number. That\u2019s kind of the whole idea.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn the four days he was at Cook Town, Hagan spent as much time on the project as he could, weather permitting. He was visited by curious deer and barn owner Burks who drove past on his tractor.\r\n\r\nIt takes a lot of time and paint for a project this size and Hagan said it was a \u201cthirsty\u201d building and really soaked up the paint.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe barn had never been painted before since \u2018birth\u2019 so it took, I think, forty-five gallons of red to paint the barn to begin with,\u201d he said. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot more to it than just the artwork.\u201d\r\n\r\nOn days when rain didn\u2019t allow him to paint, Hagan explored Pocahontas County and said he hopes to return one day and see more of the sights.\r\n\r\n\u201cI only got to do that when it was raining,\u201d he said. \u201cI usually worked from when I came to work to, really, after dark, but there was a day I got to take some advantage. I\u2019m hoping to take more advantage another time when I have another trip there. It sure is beautiful, that\u2019s for sure.\u201d\r\n\r\nAlong with barns, Hagan, of Jerusalem, Ohio, also paints high school gymnasiums and is open to new projects, as long as the canvas is big.\r\n\r\n\u201cI started out just by painting something on my Dad\u2019s barn when I was nineteen-years-old, and I\u2019ve been doing it ever since,\u201d he said. \u201cI didn\u2019t intend to make a living out of doing work on barns, but I just wanted \u00a0to challenge myself. Dad\u2019s barn was the biggest thing I could think of to try it on, so that\u2019s kind of how it started.\u201d\r\n\r\nTwenty years later, Hagan has made his mark on barns all across the country. His largest project was in 2003, when he did work for the Ohio Bicentennial \u2013\u00a088 barns, one for each county \u2013\u00a0emblazoned with the Bicentennial emblem.\r\n\r\nHagan said one of his goals is to have at least one painting in each state, although, right now, he is at a stand still.\r\n\u201cI\u2019m kind of stuck on nineteen [states] right now,\u201d he said. \u201cThat may change next year. I\u2019m kind of waiting on a contract. We\u2019re sort of in negotiations to do forty barns around the country, so that might add a few more states to the portfolio.\u201d\r\n\r\nHagan\u2019s portfolio is vast and includes a slideshow of his work in Pocahontas County. His website barnartist.com has photos of his artwork as well as media coverage of special projects. He can also be found on Facebook, at www.facebook\/barnartist where he keeps followers up-to-date on current projects.