Art is Power—and beauty—and joy


By Marilyn Delk


If you have visited downtown Greenville lately, you have no doubt noticed colorful art installations on several street corners. The art currently covering seven power boxes was created last Spring by senior students in Greenville High School’s Career Arts program and, along with several other worthy entries from talented students, submitted to Main Street Greenville officials as well as its Mural Committee. (Full disclosure—I am a member of that committee, and along with my colleagues had a difficult time rejecting any of the submitted designs.) This project is the first completed by the Mural Committee, serving as an introduction to what is to come in the group’s effort to add beauty and interest to downtown Greenville. In addition to helping beautify our surroundings, the stunning designs add a sense of joy, their very existence lifting spirits and delighting souls.

Although a fledgling committee had been working for quite a while, action began in earnest during the Summer of 2022, when group leader Eileen Litchfield gathered community leaders and art aficionados in the Main Street Greenville offices to decide upon initiatives to be taken to use art and creativity to enhance blank walls downtown, a concept that has thrived in towns and cities across the nation but was seemingly in short supply here. Ideas were discussed, plans were put forth, grant requests were submitted, funds were granted—and enthusiasm grew!

The concept of covering power boxes with art was suggested by committee member Joe Wintrow, whose enthusiastic involvement with the Mural Committee is a strong contributor to the group’s progress. Other members of the committee include Ashley Austerman, Greg Billing, Dick Brown, April Brubaker, Andrea Jordan, Stephanie Schieltz-Lowder, Tamera McNulty, Deb Shiverdecker, Matt Steyer, and Tim Wells. The proposal was then presented to Melanie Huffman, the instructor in charge of the Career Art Program at Greenville High School, who agreed to offer the challenge to her senior students who, in turn, produced delightful designs for the project.

The seven artists whose work is on display are Natalie Evans, Skylar Fletcher, Brianna “Rowan” Flory, Sami Frens, Kate Garber, Bella Ornelas, and Lexi Slade; in addition to the pride and joy in seeing their art on view, those talented students were awarded a monetary prize for their winning efforts; those funds were donated by Greenville Rotary Club. The entire mural array was unveiled during Main Street Greenville’s August “First Friday” event; this major installation was accomplished through the efforts of Troy area artist and committee member Tim Wells and the aforementioned Joe Wintrow. And in case you might suspect that his strong involvement was inspired by self-interest as his business, Wintrow Signs, creates vinyl wraps that could be used in the project, please know that the vinyl material and labor that made possible completion of the plan were donated by Wintrow Signs.

As you travel around Greenville, you will undoubtedly notice and appreciate the delightful augmentation to the downtown street corner boxes. However, just to make sure that you do not miss enjoying these additions to local public art, here are the locations: the corners of West Water and South Broadway, East Main and Walnut, East Third and South Broadway, East Fourth and South Broadway, Main and Sycamore, East Fifth and South Broadway, and at YOLO Park.

And that is just the beginning for this exciting project! Local building owners are eager to see their walls augmented by art. Plans and designs for more murals to enhance our community are coming to fruition with remarkable speed—the Mural Project is a continuing delight to anticipate, behold, and enjoy!

No posts to display