SMITHVILLE POSSIBILITIES MURAL
Presentation by David Herrington, Bastrop County Historical Commission, at June 13, 2019 quarterly meeting
Last year I showed the BCHC a pencil sketch of our proposed Smithville Possibilities Mural. I am proud to tell you this project is now completed and in full view. It is located on Highway 95 South at Loop 230 adjacent to our Independence Park on a building owned and cooperatively shared by the Smithville Independent School District.
This was a cooperative community effort enabled by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and accomplished by local citizens who helped to paint the mural under the supervision of the professional project artisan, Clover Cochran of Caldwell, Texas. Our Smithville Heritage Society was the principal contributor of the historical images used on the mural and the Society was allowed to approve the final content of the mural.
Concurrently with the Possibilities Mural, Smithville also completed the first two phases of our Legacy Mural Project. This project was also funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission for the Arts. This mural again involved the Smithville Heritage Society for image and historical input. This project was painted by professional artisan, James Culleton of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
These mural projects depict the people, places and events which have brought Smithville from its first settler, Dr. Thomas Jefferson Gazley, in 1827, to the wonderful city we are proud to call home today.
We are hopeful we will be able to find additional funding for more legacy projects. For example: 1) people who were influential in the Smithville School District; 2) Smithville founders (pre-1930s); and 3) a commemoration of women in leadership. Certainly more ideas will be generated through this project as we uncover more and more Smithvillians who deserve special recognition. The Richard D. Latham Cultural District of Smithville is grateful for the community's interest in preserving our heritage and culture.