PAINTING HISTORY: Reunion Troy commissions mural

Published 2:48 am Friday, April 5, 2019

Alabama was formed as a territory on March 3, 1817 and became the nation’s 22nd state on December 14, 1819.

When the Alabama Bicentennial Commission considered ways to celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary, it was decided that one year was not enough time to celebrate Alabama’s magnificent places, its culturally diverse population and its treasure-trove of stories.

So, it was decided to make Alabama’s Bicentennial event a three-year celebration of the places in 2017, the people in 2018 and the stories in 2019.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As Reunion Troy was planning a way to celebrate the final year of Alabama’s Bicentennial, it was decided there would be no better way than a mural that depicts the places and the people and visually tells the story of the City of Troy.

On Wednesday, the Reunion Troy committee met to review and discuss plans for the mural that will be a feature of East Walnut Street, which is within the cultural arts area of the city. The 26×8-foot mural will be painted on the wall of the Troy Tourism and Public Relations Building, which is directly across the street from the Johnson Center for the Arts.

Stephanie Baker, Reunion Troy chair, said the committee has committed weeks of research into the city’s history in an effort to decide which places and which people will best tell the story of the City of Troy from its beginning in 1843.

Baker said there are many places of historical significance in Troy and many people who have made significant contributions and positive impacts on the city.

“But it would not be possible to include them all on a mural of any size,” Baker said. “Decisions had to be made from the lists of people and places that were derived from the great amount of research that was done.”

In an effort to include as many people and places as possible on the mural, some buildings are represented by frontal views while steeples, signage and icons represent others.

Baker said people will sometimes be depicted in groups and some by their professions or some other representation. Possibly, people from different time periods will be shown together.

Troy artists, Pam Smith and Alex McLendon, will take the lead on the mural design once final decisions as to the specific details are made.

McLendon, mural designer, said art students from Troy University, Charles Henderson High School, Pike Liberal Arts School, the Colley Senior Complex and local artists will be invited to participate in the mural project.

Once the design is completed, the design will be outlined on the wall and the participating artists will fill in the forms.

“When that is done, I’ll come back with the details,” said McLendon, who worked on the Norman Rockwell mural on the Byrd Drugs building. “The details are my job and I’m very excited to get started.”
McLendon said the mural project should be completed in June, if not before.
“First, decisions have to be made on exactly which buildings and which people and then we will be ready to get started,” she said.

The lists of people and places were narrowed down to workable numbers at the Wednesday meeting of the Reunion Troy committee. The necessary photographs must now be obtained in order for the artist’s drawing to be completed.