2010-01-13 / Front Page

‘Down at the Depot’ dedicated

by MCL staffwriter

(L-R) Jennifer Trawick, Pat Bush, Wattie Hays and Chris Moore (L-R) Jennifer Trawick, Pat Bush, Wattie Hays and Chris Moore Thursday morning, January 7, a large crowd gathered at the Tarrer Inn for the dedication ceremony for Colquitt’s newest mural, “Down at the Depot.” The event had to be moved inside due to the freezing temperatures that have been around our area for quite awhile.

Jennifer Trawick, executive director of the Colquitt/Miller Arts Council, welcomed everyone to the dedication of Colquitt’s 13th mural.

Mayor Jerry Chapman thanked the economic drivers of the mural committee and commented he thought this was the prettiest of all the murals.

Chairman of the Miller County Board of Commissioners, Barbie Womble, spoke to the audience saying that her favorite thing about the murals were that they all had a story behind them.

Mural Chairman Pat Bush, who led this community for the past 10 years to become Georgia’s First Mural City, again thanked everyone for coming. She then introduced the committee members who also have played a big part in the painting of the murals.

Ms. Wattie Hays (center) shown with son, Walter Hays and is wife, Laura, celebrating her birthday at the mural dedication. Ms. Wattie Hays (center) shown with son, Walter Hays and is wife, Laura, celebrating her birthday at the mural dedication. Not only was this day set aside for the dedication of the 13th mural, but one of the committee members, Mrs. Wattie Hays was celebrating her 93rd birthday. Miss Wattie and her family were instrumental in helping to sponsor the newest mural. Miss Wattie’s father was the depot agent in Colquitt. Many of the stories depicted on the mural were stories Miss Wattie shared for Swamp Gravy’s play ‘Down at the Depot.’

The one who was responsible for the work of art was then introduced.

Chris Moore of Moore Art Studios in Hampton thanked the people of the committee for allowing him to have a part in the latest mural. He said it had been a positive experience, and he hoped that the mural would be enjoyed by everyone. Moore actually started on the painting on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. And after 59 days, it was completed.

Chris is an accomplished artist with more than 15 years of experience. After serving his country in the United States Navy, he decided to pursue the American Dream and his passion for creating art.

It all began with painting murals. One mural led to another, allowing him to hone his skills in multiple mediums. Chris stated, “Each project has pushed me to master new techniques and rise to the highest levels of my craft.” Some of Moore’s projects have been featured in 11 countries on four different continents. That’s quite an accomplishment for a self-taught artist who trained himself, without ever going to college.

Moore stated that Colquitt, and this community is what he thinks America and Americans should be like. He called Colquitt his second home.

The newest mural is located on the wall of the old Fudge building on the corner of Main and Cuthbert streets.

The “Down at the Depot” mural is different from any other mural in Colquitt. It has a 3-D feature with the light on the train engine. As the sun goes down in Colquitt, the ‘Butt head’ light will come on.

Karen Kimbrel, mural committee member, told some of the stories the new mural scenes represent of true stories that happened down at the train depot.

One of the scenes shows the train depot and a mother and father waiting for the flag-draped casket of their son returning from war. In another area, it shows a pickup truck that was hit by a train and dragged down the tracks. Some may remember the driver of that truck, Mrs. Uva Mason, who Moore had the pleasure of meeting when he stopped by the Liberal.

The mural leaders informed the large crowd that they were not through. The largest and most expensive mural was in the making, and the next mural would be on the large silos on Main Street owned by Birdsong Peanut.

The crowd was told that a grant has been applied for with more coming. The peanut company was thanked for its generosity of allowing the next murals to be painted on the giant silos.

Many of those present stayed to help Ms. Wattie Hays celebrate her 93rd birthday with family, friends, birthday songs and good food.

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