Chances are, you’ve seen the brightly colored mural covering the outer walls of the handball court at Walker Park in South Fayetteville. Not too many folks know its history, though. Or, rather, the history it depicts.
A recently completed project could change that.
City officials today unveiled an informational sign that illustrates and describes the events and people represented in the Walker Park Historical Mural located at the south end of Walker Park, along the park’s outer trail.
The mural portrays the life and times of South Fayetteville dating back to the early 1800s. Represented in the paintings are over 30 people, places and events that reflect the diverse history of the South Fayetteville community including Roberta Fulbright, Archibald Yell, The Black Diamond Serenaders, Johnson’s Store, Tilly Willy Bridge and the Walker Skateboard Park.
“I look at this mural and I still feel what Fayetteville was like when many of these people that are no longer with us were here,” said project coordinator Lisa Netherland at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Tuesday afternoon. “It’s so important that people know a little bit about our history and it’s really cool that it’s captured here.”
The mural work was facilitated by Artist in Education artist JoAnn Kaminsky with assistance from Eugene Sargent. Students from School-Within-A-School at Fayetteville High researched, documented and designed the mural based on stories and suggestions from folks at the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center.
“I’m happy to see that this sign shows something about the process because it was an amazing process,” Kaminsky said. “We collected data, drew impressions of the stories, and rearranged them before we designed it.”
The painting was done by students at Fayetteville High and Jefferson Elementary and others including anyone who walked by and picked up a brush.
If you were walking through the park, you got to come and paint on the mural if you wanted to,” said Kaminsky.
The project was completed in the fall of 2005 after three years of work.
A PDF document with information about each of the stories depicted on the mural is available on the city’s website.