The Georgia Writers Museum will be the lead agency for a consortium of
organizations on the first three murals in a multi-phase mural project that is
part of a larger initiative to establish public art aimed at creating a vibrant
historic district to stimulate economic development. The first chapter of the
mural project, entitled “Turning a Page”, will depict the story of Putnam
County’s famous authors Joel Chandler Harris, Alice Walker and Flannery
O’Connor; reflecting on our past rich cultural heritage while launching forward
with an arts tourism program. The three murals will be painted on panels and
mounted on the Georgia Writers Museum or another prominent location in downtown
Eatonton. The final designs and placement of the three murals will be
determined through a facilitated community engagement process.
Partners directly involved include: Georgia College Art Department, the Putnam County Charter School System and The Artisans Village. Others organizations engaged include: the City of Eatonton, Downtown Development Authority, Eatonton Main Street, Chamber of Commerce, Briar Patch Arts Council, Historical Society, Historic Scenic Byway Corp., Rock Hawk, Alice Walker Project and Andalusia Foundation. (Letters of endorsement from these community entities engaged and supporting the project can be found on the Georgia Writers Museum Website (http://www.georgiawritersmuseum.com/).
Valerie Aranda, GA College Art Professor and experienced muralist, will be the lead artist, working alongside Paige Barlow, High School Art Teacher. (http://www.changastudioworks.com/index.html).
Gail Vail, professional artist representing The Artisans Village, will
be an artistic advisor on the project (http://gailvail.weebly.com/). Through
classroom instruction and engagement of students, the project will provide
educational experiences for young artists from both GA College and Putnam
County High School.
Subsequent murals of the multi-phase project will depict our heritage, archaeology, culture, scenery, nature and recreational facilities, and key points in history, highlighting such things as: the Effigies; scenery of the lakes and wildlife; The Color Purple and Song of the South movie premieres; the Antebellum period; Civil War; King Cotton; the dairy industry; harness races; Brer rabbit and critters, and, legends & tales (ghosts, BBQ, Trans-Oconee Republic, Devil's Footprint, etc.).
The goal is to elevate the artisan sector and promote art tourism by bringing Georgia’s creative talent and visual artworks to the citizens and visitors of Putnam County.