2017-10-05 / Front Page

Now complete mural in downtown Tignall immortalizes city’s establishment in 1889

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor


The new mural in Tignall depicts a reminiscent view of the town, its slogan, and symbols of its agricultural heritage. The new mural in Tignall depicts a reminiscent view of the town, its slogan, and symbols of its agricultural heritage. The greatest care was taken in crafting Tignall’s new mural, as University of Georgia art students were the chosen painters for the project, and have so immortalized a depiction of the city’s antiquated past in a warm reminiscence of bygone days.

“Art is something to be shared,” project leader Gunner Tarsa said.

As Tarsa explained, being able to create pieces like the mural means that he and his fellow colleagues have a chance to share not only something they created with their own hands, but it opens up others to the connectivity that a large project like this brings – that something, as simple as a painting, can be used as an outlet to share vivid imagery, fresh perspectives, and emotive intakes regarding the subject at hand.

For this particular subject matter, roots of hard work and tradition are spotlighted as the mural highlights the town’s establishment of 1889, having been named for Tignall Livingston Moss.


Nobie Keener (left) and the North Wilkes Steering Committee found the team of artists, including Professor of Art Joseph Norman (right) through contact with the University of Georgia. Nobie Keener (left) and the North Wilkes Steering Committee found the team of artists, including Professor of Art Joseph Norman (right) through contact with the University of Georgia. While Tarsa is a recent graduate of UGA, he was joined by student counterparts Ben Thrash, Young Lim Lee, Hannah Dougan, and Professor of Art Joseph Norman.

The mural in Tignall makes the third piece designed and painted by the art group this year, having com- pleted one in Rutledge, and another at the Snelling Dining Commons on UGA’s campus.

As the search began for the right artists to paint the mural in Tignall, North Wilkes Steering Committee member Nobie Keener explained that the organization reached out to the university, which put them in ready touch with the art department.

“We only brought the best and brightest students down for this project,” Professor Norman said. “But we do this for the students, and so that they’ll learn how to get clients, and how to work with clients professionally, along with other details that go along with business in the art world.”

Naturally, the students also learn how to produce a mural – with all its intricate groundwork – and by the end of the project they’ve brought to life a piece they can be proud of, which is excellent training for the future art professionals, according to Norman.

“I’m glad for this opportunity. We’re usually really picky about our projects because people so often try to exploit our students,” Norman said, elaborating that upon meeting with Steering Committee members and other officials, and agreeing on different terms of service, he felt comfortable sending his students to work in Tignall.

The students were hosted by Debbie Bennett throughout their stay in Wilkes County, and at the completion of the mural, they were given a commission that was divided amongst the students for scholarship purposes.

Streaked across the hardware store wall in Tignall, the mural’s sepia-tinted and old fashioned glow makes the great painting look like a snap shot from an era long gone at its depiction of a shadow that once was.

Complete with silhouettes of farmers and townspeople, a tip of the hat to Tignall’s agricultural heritage, the mural is garnished with dots of cotton plants, which, of course, adorn the slogan most loved by the community’s natives – “I’d Rather be in Tignall.”

As the mural now stands tall and wide at the heart of the City of Tignall, it has encompassed a memory always pressing on the minds of its citizens, and now serves as an ever present reminder of family roots and home since 1889.

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