RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – Albert Smathers painted a mural in downtown Raymond a few decades ago, and he’s been asked back to do another one.
Smathers teaches art at Mississippi College, where he once studied art. He seems quiet and reserved. Not the kind of guy you’d imaging who goes around painting the town, but he’s doing it now.
Well, I’ve been painting now for about 40 years. Started doodling when I was a kid. Got into doing the murals back in 85. 84, 85. Actually I did one for Raymond back in 85,” he explained.
That brings here to where we are today. It was the old mural that is the springboard for this new mural. Debbe Tillman has been put in charge of overseeing this project.
“Well I’m a member of the board of the Friends of Raymond and for years people have asked them to repaint the old mural. ‘Can you help us get the mural repainted, refurbished?’ And there were a lot of logistical challenges to that, so we just noticed this beautiful wall, which essentially just a wall standing here,” said Tillman.
The blank wall became a blank canvas on which Smathers is inscribing the history and memories and lore of Raymond.
Raymond Mayor Isla Tullos sees the mural as the right addition to Raymond at just the right time.
“This is going to be charming, and Debbe has ideas where we can come up and have maybe a get together or dedication,” she said.
Smathers has put a lot of work into the murtalso far and has a good ways to go. He has set a time limit to get it done. Smathers plans to finish the mural sometime in November.