A piece of artwork has been chosen and Downtown Jonesboro will soon have a mural on one of its buildings.
A competition was recently held where artists could submit designs to be painted on David Worlow’s office building on Church Street.
The competition first began with an idea from 9th grade student Sean Roades of Douglas MacArthur Junior High.
“Last year whenever I was in my EAST class I came up with the idea,” Roades said. “Because I thought there was something that downtown Jonesboro really needed and the first thing I thought was art because it’s always been there to bring communities together. So, I thought it would build a sense of community in downtown Jonesboro.”
Roades said his first move was to seek help.
“The first thing I did was to contact the Downtown Jonesboro Association and Hailey Knight,” Roades said. “She was very helpful whenever I did contact her. After we had various meetings where we discussed how it would play out and I even designed a website for it. And so people could go to our website or go to our office and get information. And from there people created murals and they had all summer to make one.”
And a winner was finally selected.
Jim Porterfield’s colorful vision of downtown Jonesboro won the selection committee over.
“It was great," Porterfield said. "It was really wonderful. I was excited. What more can I say? It was an honor, it was a great honor.”
Porterfield said the downtown area itself was his source of inspiration for the piece he created.
“The business owners and how it’s growing and evolving,” he said. “I wanted to have something that kind of represented the downtown, but was a little bit more New Orleans style looking. I actually call this Rockin’ Downtown Jonesboro with a splash of color.”
Porterfield said it took him a month or two before he was finally happy enough to submit it.
“I’ve done this since I was a little kid,” Porterfield said. “I have a very wide area of artwork that I do. I do a lot of abstracts, a lot of very colorful paintings. I’ve done a few portraits to background to stuff like this.”
Roades said he was thrilled with the response his idea got.
“I thought it was amazing because this is my first time doing something on this scale,” Roades said. “Which I think it’s really neat because if I wasn’t in the Environmental and Special Technology Class I would not have had the chance to do it.”
Roades said he was excited to be a part of something that will be a part of the community for years to come.
“I think it’s just really cool because we’re getting to put up this artwork and the whole entire community has the chance to be involved,” Roades said. “To see it and take pictures. Not only do you have these people driving by, but you also have all these people downtown that are shopping or eating and they’ll walk past this. I think it’s just really cool because it’s going to inspire others downtown.”
Porterfield said he was honored to have his work chosen.
“It feels absolutely wonderful,” Porterfield said. “There’s no words to describe how great I feel about it.”
Roades's idea and Porterfield’s vision will become a reality sometime in mid-October.
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