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2010 mural dediction in Colquitt, GA
Walworth Mural Completed
By Gene Bavis

It all began when my wife and I visited Colquitt, GA in February and saw an incredible mural that surrounded 5 peanut silos that are 100 feet tall.  We “caught” Mural Mania.  When we returned home, discussions with Mark De Cracker led me to explore the possibilities for a Walworth mural. 

On April 16, I contacted Cazenovia College Art Professor, Corky Goss with a mural idea.   The Walworth Historical Society owns two historically significant oil paintings that we have had restored.  Because we are small organization with limited hours, we realize that most people will never get to see those paintings.  Because Mural Mania’s mission is “the preservation of history through community art,” we felt that reproducing our paintings in a mural would be a great history lesson.  The paintings are of the first herd of 33 Holstein cattle brought to Walworth in 1879 by prominent citizen, Theron G. Yeomans.  His daughter in law, Clara Billings Yeomans did the paintings, probably in the 1880’s.  We decided that we’d also like to include Mr. Yeomans in the mural, so the artist put him in between the two paintings.

Blank wall July 2013
On May 20, following a meeting with Dan Roberts, co-owner of the building that houses the Walworth Post Office and a Mark’s Pizzeria, I was granted permission to have a mural painted on the west wall.  Mark’s Pizzeria made the first pledge in the fundraising campaign. 

The fundraiser was kicked off the next day.  I developed a 200 square grid, representing one square for each square foot of the 25 x 8 foot mural.  We asked people to sponsor one square foot for $25 or one square yard for $200.  Of course we were will to accept any donation, but we plan to create a plaque listing all $25 or more sponsors.  By June 18 we had reached 50% of our goal and by July 8 we were at 75%.  We reached the $4,500 goal during the Walworth Festival in the Park on July 26. 

Corky Goss and his son, Graham arrived in Walworth on July 31 to prepare the base coat and begin the layout.  Rain on August 1 caused a delay.  On August 2 work resumed and was completed on August 4.  Many people stopped by to see the progress and meet the artists.
Corky painting the mural

I served as the project coordinator on behalf of the Walworth Historical Society.  The Board has been very supportive as has our general membership.  We hope that the mural will create greater interest in our local history and perhaps a few more visitors to our museum.  The new mural is the 28th mural in Wayne County.  We are already planning future murals.

The Walworth Historical Society will hold a formal dedication ceremony at 3 PM on Sunday, October 6 followed by an Open House and Reception at the Walworth Historical Society.  The theme of our open house and reception will be Wayne County’s Dairy Industry.   Details have not yet been planned, so save the date and watch for future announcements of the event.

Mural completed


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