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Heart Of Adair Envisions A Mural

This article first appeared in issue 15, and was written by Ed Waggener.

"A mural will be eye-catching, whatever it is," muralist Lois Cunningham, a Columbia resident now for just over a year, told Heart of Adair members at their July 22 meeting.

Ms. Cunningham, a former resident of Ida, Michigan, told the group how that town had been re-invigorated with the planting of flowering crabtrees in the community, the installation of five-lamp antique street lighting, and a general cleanup.

Funds for the projects were raised through chicken broils and pancake breakfasts, she said, and worked so well that the vacant building they had been given for the fund-raisers was itself rented. Donna Vaughn reported that in Destin, FL, a credit line for funding is discreetly printed below the murals, with sponsors' names. Dr. Arnold said these ideas might be utilized to underwrite the mural costs. He said he is confident that the funding will be ready when the Murals Committee and the artists are ready.

Heart of Adair members had been studying the problems attending outside mural paintings, specifically, funding, theme, and technique. Mrs. Cunningham offered several warmly-received suggestions which helped cut the Heart of Adair hesitancy on the mural project.

Dr. Arnold had expressed concern about the durability of murals painted directly on the wall. "Use a high quality, high gloss, outdoor paint," Mrs. Cunningham said, adding, "it doesn't fade. I have some up that have been there 20 years. They're still in good shape."

Earlier, a technique of painting the scenes on tiles, firing the tires, and then gluing them to the surface of the wall-a very expensive alternative-was the plan.

Mrs. Cunningham noted that a nationally known muralist whose work was seen on CBS' Sunday Morning Tv magazine, painted directly onto structures. "There's a town in South Dakota, laid out much the same as Columbia, where he painted murals. He simply put the murals directly on the sides of the buildings. He worked them into the texture of the walls. Actually," she said, "it makes the scenes more interesting."

Previously, the theme had been narrowed to a depiction of the Square. Some wanted a current rendition-the Square of today. Others preferred a look forward-the Square as it could be. Mrs. Cunningham said that the mural will be eye-catching, whatever it is. "I think there are going to be more and more people moving here. Some will be traveling, looking for a place to settle. They'll find what they are looking for here-and the murals will help them decide. We found Columbia, and we love it. It took our daughter just one visit and she loves it too."

Linda Affolter, co-owner of the Breeding Mall with her husband Dan, said, "I'm not from here. I would appreciate how Columbia looked before on the murals," she said. It was a thought appreciated by other members with somewhat longer residencies here.

The idea which carried was to render the Square in a 1940s look, but allowing artistic license the upper hand over historical correctness. It was decided that the 1940s Square in the mural might have the most interesting faades of the whole 10-year period, with maybe one or two from bracketing decades to spice them up. Most wanted the First National Bank faade which prevailed before the current one to be included; they wanted the Rialto Theater as well as the Columbian Theater-both of which, coincidentally, authentically belong in the late 1940s; they wanted the Hotel Miller in it; along with the G & M Grill, the minuscule Maupin's Barber Shop; and Ed & Ed's Kentucky Auto Store or the old Paull Drug Company, one time predecessors of the 1997 office of Reed Brother's Insurance. The Corner Drug building of the 40s, today the Adair Wholesale Outlet's second display room, was also favored. Some other buildings suggested were the Casey Jones Jewelry building, which is now owned by Suzanne and Greg Wells and is occupied by David Wells Insurance and Town Barber Shop. Many said that the JoAnn Odell miniatures are great models for the mural drawings. Donna Vaughn wondered, too, if some of the buildings on the streets off the Square might not be included, or even some of the Columbia's skyline might not be included. "I love the view at night of the Baptist Church from across the bridge on Campbellsville Road," she said. "Lighted up, it looks like the Parthenon," she added.

That question, and the actual depiction, will be left to the Heart of Adair Murals Committee and artists Mrs. Cunningham, Henrietta Scott, Ann St. Clair, and the legendary Joe Moore. Moore was not present, but sent word that he is at work photographing, drawing, concept- ualizing and cutering up some good ideas. Dr. Arnold also reported that the Heart of Adair & Columbia Tree Board Campbellsville Street Tree Project, which missed the spring planting, will definitely be on for the fall planting opportunity, barring any disaster. After the meeting, members inspected the Walker Building mural site and the walkway and masonry just completed by the City of Columbia. Present at the meeting, besides the previously mentioned, were Guy Adams, Jean McLean, Jessica Snyder, Jane Aaron, and Linda Waggener.

This story was posted on 1997-07-30 12:01:01
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Archive Photo

1997-07-30 - Photo Staff. Heart of Adair members inspect the site of the group's first mural project. This item first appeared in Issue 15 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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Archive Photo

1997-07-30 - Photo Staff. Heart of Adair President Ben Arnold, artists Lois Cunningham and Ann St. Clair, LWC Vice President Guy Adams, and Linda Affolter consider mural possibilities for the Walker Building.This item first appeared in Issue 15 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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