Turner Center invites community to help paint murals in Art Park

Acceptance. Compassion. Humanity. Love. Respect. Five basic values that build community.

The general public is invited to participate in a mural painting event at the Turner Center Art Park, on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, where these words will be artistically expressed onto five 4’ x 8’ panels that will be affixed to the Art Park fence. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and all supplies will be on site for individuals to assist in creating the art work.

VSU Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Evelyn Davis-Walker and artist Steven S. Walker have intentionally designed the murals for community engagement. The images will be outlined on the panels by the Walkers, and volunteers will paint within the lines with the provided paint and brushes.

“Given the current climate (pandemic, social injustices, lack of physical and emotional connection), there is an overwhelming need for harmony now more than ever,” said Davis-Walker. “What better way to express the community’s desire to unite than by rallying together in a safe and meaningful way to reconnect with our neighbors…and paint.”

The event, approved by the Turner Center Board and funded by the Valdosta Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), will expand the number of public art pieces available in the Art Park located at 605 N. Patterson Street.

The Art Park, created in 2019, spans nearly an acre of landscaped greenspace in the heart of the city. Currently, the park houses two metal sculptures by local artist Wilby Coleman and a fence mural created by former Artist-in-Residence Kristy Hughes. The five murals designed by the Walkers will be installed to the right of the park’s pavilion and will each be separated by 4’ x 4’ chalkboards for additional community engagement.

“The Turner Center for the Arts board and staff are extremely grateful to the City of Valdosta, the PAAC and the Walkers for making this community mural event possible,” said Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “The arts serve to inspire all people; and the Turner Center serves all people with the arts. The values represented on these murals are like open arms to our community, and the completed project will serve as a long-lasting reminder of these basic values that unite us.”

Earlier in the year, the Turner Center Board and PAAC approved plans for an Art Park Mural Contest that was canceled due to COVID-19. In an effort to reschedule the event, the Walkers came up with the design and event that results in a collaboration of community. VSU art instructors and art students will also assist in completing the project.

Volunteers for the event may sign up by emailing emdaviswalker@valdosta.edu or by calling the Turner Center at 229-247-2787.