New mural serves as a “gateway" to downtown Paragould

New mural promoting Downtown Paragould
New mural promoting Downtown Paragould(KAIT)
Published: Jan. 7, 2019 at 10:16 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - "Find it Downtown" is the writing on a building that has been dubbed the gateway to downtown Paragould.

It’s something Main Street Paragould has been trying to accomplish for years, creating a gateway to help people from out of town find the downtown area and to lure in the locals.

"We've always had two big questions about how to accomplish a gateway, how do we do it and who does it," Main Street Paragould Executive Director Gina Jarrett said.

Over the years consultants have suggested its creation.

But no set plans were made, until a friend of a friend connection fell into place.

"A lot of things happened, kind of like the planets aligned in the right way," Jarrett said.

Things like the perfect location, a willing property owner who loved murals, and an artist already in town working on another project.

“Gina and the crew were right across the street were I was painting,” Artist Jason White said. “They were having a conversation about how do we start this movement downtown.”

The goal was to make downtown more easily found and get the locals out and about.

"Our highway doesn't make it easy with the curves and the strange intersections to get from Hwy. 412 to downtown," Jarrett said.

"They were really wanting to liven up downtown, brighten up downtown, bring people back downtown," White said.

In just six days over a two week period, they were able to accomplish exactly that.

The mural also inspiring a new series to get local artists involved in the drive to brighten up downtown Paragould.

"We want them to identify things, things that are plain, things that are mundane and maybe how to make them quirky and colorful and fun," Jarrett said.

The mural is the first of many projects to come.

That new series is called Downtown Creates, and Jarrett said it will kick off in the spring of 2019.

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