Jennings asks residents for input on mural

JENNINGS — The city is asking residents to share their visions for a mural project. A meeting to discuss the project will be at 6 p.m. today, May 31, at the Tupper General Merchandise Museum, 311 North Main St.

“This project is part of the major street improvement and beautification project the city has been working on for the past year,” said Dusty Chaisson, city project coordinator.

As part of the $44,000 project, the city will replace a hurricane fence at the corner of East Jefferson and South Main Street with a cedar fence with brick columns.

“Each panel of the fence will have some type of mural depicting the city’s history on it,” Chaisson said.

Artist Ronnie Collins has been commissioned to paint the murals, many from old photographs, on the 250-foot fence, Chaisson said.

The old Jeff Davis High School, which was destroyed in a fire, and the Moultry cabin, one of the first homes in Jennings, are among the images planned for the fence. Other images from the city’s past will be based on responses from the public.

“We’ve got to decide what else will be going on there because we have a lot of fence to cover,” Chaisson said.

Residents are urged to bring to the meeting old photos or drawings of historic buildings or other images they would like to see on the mural.

“There’s still a lot to be decided, but we welcome anything from people’s memories that they would like to share to help tell our story,” Chaisson said. “We want this to be something they can be proud of. All of Jennings has a rich history, and we want the mural to tell the story of Jennings.”

The idea for the mural began earlier this year after residents from the south side expressed interest in the city extending its beautification efforts beyond Railroad Avenue and along South Main Street.

“I met several residents who wanted to know why all the beautification stopped at the railroad tracks,” Chaisson said. “The railroad tracks have always been an invisible line dividing the city. We want to reach out to them and let them know we are really not that different.”

In addition to the mural, buildings at the public water department will be repainted and landscaping added to the front. Flowers have been placed at Woods and South Main streets.

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