WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (4/19/21) – Students from Williams Baptist University recently completed a month-long painting project for the Lawrence County Public Housing Authority that features many recognizable images, landmarks and historical events from the region.
Dr. Sandy Baltz of the WBU art faculty and 22 students from her Drawing I & II classes began work on the “We are Lawrence County” mural, located at 118 E. Main on March 22 and added the final touches to the project in mid-April. Students were divided into groups and given different parts of the mural to work on during their designated work times.
“I have found that producing public artwork always brings joy and pride to a community and showcases the WBU students and their hard work,” Baltz said. “Students benefit from the ‘real world’ work experiences and they are able to have a sense of pride about working on a project that will be showcased for all to see.”
Debbi Hart of the Lawrence County Public Housing Authority provided Baltz with sketch ideas for the overall theme of the project and Baltz began incorporating local landmarks and mascots to tie the theme into the Lawrence County Region.
The mural features many notable landmarks from the area including the Powhatan Courthouse, Lawrence County Courthouse, WBU’s Manley Chapel and the Walnut Ridge water tower. Also, it has paintings of The Beatles flying over the city, World War II airfield bombers, a train depot and local area high school mascots.
“The mural not only brings a personalized touch to Walnut Ridge but serves as a way for the students of WBU to give back to their community,” Baltz said. “I also want to thank the Lawrence County Public Housing Authority for purchasing the supplies for the project. It was a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents.”
The students that participated were Kayla Curtis of Walnut Ridge; Abby Dutka of Piggott, Ark.; Dan Eubanks of Garfield, Ark.; Lillie Guth of Batesville, Ark.; Lindsey Horrell of Hardy, Ark.; Trevor Lawson of Alburquerque, N.M.; Mady McGinnis of Walnut Ridge; Alex Osborne of Jonesboro, Ark.; Gabby Patterson of Beebe, Ark.; Rebekah Presley of Jonesboro; Ryan Sanders of Arlington, Tenn.; Mallory Shempert of Jonesboro; Maci Smelser of Walnut Ridge; Brady Smith of Cave City, Ark.; Heath Taylor of Wynne, Ark.; Heidi Thomas of Mabelvale, Ark.; Angie Valente of Elizabeth, Ark.; Emma Weeks of Blytheville, Ark. and Emily Weiss of Manila, Ark.
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.