Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 15, 2013

Work on new floodwall murals to start

Two paintings will depict region’s black heritage

ASHLAND — A long-awaited project to add two floodwall murals documenting and preserving Ashland’s rich multicultural heritage will begin next month.

The United Communities to Advance our Neighborhoods or UCAN initiative is funding the project, which seeks to preserve and celebrate Ashland’s rich black history. The murals will be painted by local artist Jeremy Johnson on the floodwall behind the city’s Transportation Center.

The first mural to be painted will feature six historic black churches in the area. The churches include New Hope Baptist Church, Johnson Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Christ Temple Church, St. James, an African Methodist Episcopal church in Greenup County and an unnamed church in Russell.  

 A second mural will depict the 1947 class of Booker T. Washington School, an all-black school that existed before integration, along with other alumni and teachers. The basketball team and the marching band will also be depicted.

UCAN has been raising funds for the murals — expected to cost about $20,000 to install — for the last several years. “It has been a very long journey,” said Brenda Martin, UCAN’s founder and president. She said additional funds are still needed to fully fund both murals, but organizers wanted to get started with the first painting.

“We have faith that as people see them growing, they will want to support and be a part of this multicultural project,” said Martin, “We are glad to see it happen and I believe the excitement will be shared with the area and they will come forth with the support.” 

“Jerry is a wonderful artist and I know he is going to bring a lot of vitality and color and artistic creativity to the walls and that area that has become a good attraction and a source of pride for the community,” said Martin.

City of Ashland workers will prepare the wall for painting over the next few weeks, and Johnson is expected to begin his work Oct. 1, according to Martin. She hopes the first mural, depicting the churches, will be completed before winter.

That mural will be dedicated to the late Suffragan Bishop Elzy Thomas, who died earlier this year. Thomas, who led Christ Temple Church for more than half a century, was a vocal supporter of the project as well as an outspoken community advocate. He was also a 1950 graduate of the Booker T. Washington School.

Those who would like to donate to the project can do so through UCAN Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3). Donations are tax deductible. Checks can be mailed to UCAN at P.O. Box 104 Russell, KY 41169-0104. Those who send checks should note the donation is for the mural project. For more information, email Brenda Martin at ucanhelp@windstream.net.

Silver and Gold Donors, those who give at the $500 and above level, are eligible to have their name and/or photo painted on the wall.

Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimes zeroes in on women’s issues with latest ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 30, 2014