Global mural conference held in Colquitt - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Global mural conference held in Colquitt

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

COLQUITT, GA (WALB) –You can't go too far in south Georgia without seeing a silo on the side of the road. One in Colquitt now stands out. A massive mural has been painted on the side of it.

It was dedicated Friday afternoon as part of the 2010 global mural conference that attracted visitors from all over the world to Colquitt.

It's 100 feet high covering 26,700 square feet, and its Georgia's newest and largest agricultural icon. "The peanuts are six feet tall, the size of a man," said artist Charles Johnston.

A grant from the USDA along with numerous donations from the community, made this monumental project possible.

It's something the artist, Charles Johnston, has been working on for three months, "I painted the artwork on the model before starting on the building to work out how the design would mesh with the shape of the building," said Johnston.

He was commissioned from Canada, to come to Colquitt and do the job, most of which he did with paint rollers and more than 500 gallons of mural paint. "I did everything, you are looking at a one man job, I washed the building and even primed the building," he said.

It's a design the artist and the Colquitt/ Miller Arts council worked on together, "He represents every man, no one in particular," said Johnston.

10 years ago the town decided to use murals as a way to promote tourism, and revitalize the small community, This makes number 15 for the town. "It is a marvelous icon from the highway, as you are driving past you may not think of stopping in Colquitt, but you may change your mind once you see it," said Baron Gordon Prestoungrange, from Scotland.

This week folks from around the world gathered just feet away from the masterpiece for the 2010 Global Mural Conference. Representatives from towns that also use murals as economic development tools, discussed ideas and compared notes about murals around the world. "Colquitt is all about story telling we are a group of people that love to tell stories," said Pat Bush, mural coordinator.

Baron Gordon Prestoungrange from Scotland says Colquitt's approach to murals is unique. "The murals here in Colquitt tell the stories of the individuals in the community, where as we tend to take a more academic approach," he said.

But this one is far more than just a mural it's symbolic to the entire south Georgia community, and a tribute to Agricultural for the entire state.

The artist still has a little more work to do. He says he's about 75%  finished.

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