Museum of East Alabama holding mural dedication ceremony May 12

Published: May 05, 2022

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On Thursday, May 12, from 4-6 p.m. at the Museum of East Alabama, the public is invited to celebrate murals painted by an Auburn University class and regional artist Chris Johnson.

The mural painted by nationally recognized artist and Auburn studio art professor Wendy DesChene and her students, which stands at 35x13 feet, celebrates local agricultural history and features imagery of historic equipment, advertising, local agricultural pioneers, the east Alabama landscape, farmers and farm culture.

DesChene said the experience prepares students for the job market, fosters their creativity and inspires confidence in themselves as artists.

“One of my favorite learning outcomes of this project is to teach that art belongs everywhere. Artists should make space for themselves in their community,” DesChene said. “Unlike musicians or performers who get applause, that type of feedback usually does not happen for visual artists. However, with mural painting, the community responds as soon as you are painting it or putting it on the wall. That type of feedback that appreciates your unique skills is vital for a young artist to know and feel.”

The agricultural mural is sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities and the Department of Art & Art History at Auburn University. It was installed this spring at the Whatley Agricultural Pavilion where “Old Nancy,” the museum’s turn-of-the-century steam tractor, is on display.

Chris Johnson’s history of East Alabama mural will also be dedicated at this May’s celebration and can be viewed on the Avenue A side of the museum.

The May 12 celebration is free and open to the public.

Submitted by: Charlotte Tuggle