.or at least, Kelly volunteers painted PART of it!

Starting the mural

Phyllis Kennedy’s brain child, an effort to employ students to paint various eyesores, such as electric panels and manhole covers, sounded like a fabulous idea. In fact, the Alabama State Council of the Arts was impressed and gave The Kelly a grant to do the project.

However, “Sometimes real life gets in the way,” explains project manager Carol Hickman. “Because of various regulations, it became impossible to get the necessary permissions.” She and Curator Jennifer Eifert spent countless hours trying to coordinate the places to paint, but “all the utility places fell through.” Then, to add to the disappointment, the student artists failed to show up.

Blue Bird

This did not deter her, though. Carol forged on with Plan B. She was delighted when the Diversified Alarm building wall was made available by owners Jackie Brown and her husband for a mural.  Carol and her merry group of determined volunteers combined designs to make an entire mural. “Hi Ho, Hi Ho–off to paint we go!”  It was not an easy job. The intrepid painters who faced the sun and heat for hours were Marty Woodall, Jessica Roy, Joel Esker, Marilyn Hawkins, and  Andrea Peel  Also, two students stepped up to help.

Pink Fish

Dylan and Connor Eifert, Curator Jennifer’s teenage sons, don’t claim to be budding artists, but they spent a day painting the primer, a difficult and boring job, which they handled with a great attitude.  At least they got some payment from the grant money.  Also, Steve Lee, the professional sign painter, who has spoken at TWK, will add detailed work, a sign that shows all the trails represented, and then a UV protector will be applied.  While Carol is not likely to tackle another mural, at least she can say she led the onslaught, and the end result is delightful.  It’s a sort of continuation of some of the work Ben and Erin Napier started in a plan to make the town more appealing.  The Kelly can be proud of what this group accomplished despite the difficulties.

Somewhat finished–Photos by Carol Hickman