Rutledge reveals large mural
Garden Club sponsors new art project
By Ann Cantrell
Pulling into downtown Rutledge onto Fairplay Street, people might notice a greeting from Polly Rutledge on the side of one of the buildings. On a large postcard image on the side of Dr. Michael Hughes office building, is a message from the original citizen of the town, Polly. The Garden Club sponsored a mural, completed by artists Eugene Swain and Molly Lesnikowski in downtown Rutledge.
The mural consists of three postcards, two images from places in Rutledge—Hard Labor Creek and the old depot with a cotton wagon, as well as message from Polly Rutledge. “It’s what you might see in Rutledge—cotton fields and golf courses,” said Lesnikowski, who created one of the postcards.
Swain completed the mural of the Hard Labor Creek and the old depot. Lesnikowski went on to say that she thought the murals brought together Rutledge’s past and present, as an old railroad town and now as a tourist spot. The two artists also represent two different sides of Rutledge, Swain being a local and Lesnikowski a transplant from Massachussetts.
The idea for a mural came from Rena Holt, a member of the Garden Club, and the idea for a postcard mural came from Lesnikowski. Hilda Chilton, a member of the Garden Club, said that once the idea of a mural was suggested, it took about a year and a half to finally decide to create the mural.
Once the artist was picked and the mural was started, it took about two months to complete, just in time for the Rutledge Country Fair. “We wanted it done for the fair. Eugene has a full-time job so he did it in the evenings,” said Lesnikowski.
The mural was created as a result of the fund-raising money from the Tour of Homes in 2006. There will be another Tour of Homes in Rutledge this year. The Garden Club also plans to add onto the mural with perhaps more postcards, or even start a new mural on another building.