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Two new murals to be unveiled in downtown Murray

A sketch of a future mural for downton Murray
Murray Convention and Visitor Bureau
A sketch of a future mural for downton Murray

Murray residents and tourists are about to see a bit more color around town, specifically blue and gold.

The Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau hopes to unveil a pair of new murals showcasing the city’s history and traditions by the end of October.

Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director Erin Carrico said she hopes the murals will not only be a talking point for the local community but boost promotion for Murray on social media.

“You see the murals in Nashville, New York, big cities, and the same premise is here,” Carrico said. “People want to experience something and take home a memory of where they visit. And, what better place to do that than a mural in our historic downtown.”

Carrico said each mural is representative of Murray and Calloway County’s unique history. A team of five Louisville-based muralists, Often Seen Rarely Spoken, will paint a mural on the side of the Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau offices starting next week.

One mural intends to capture the spirit of Calloway County’s barn quilts, and the other mural – measuring nearly 80 feet long – will be a representation of the city’ history and ties to Murray State University.

“One of the biggest attractions that we're known for that we get visitors for is our barn quilt trail. And, if you notice, the back of our wayfinding signs as well as the barn quilt trail, obviously mimic quilt patterns. And so this mural that's going on the side of our building, also mimics quilt patterns, but it spells out ‘Murray’.”

The second mural will be located on the 300 block of Main Street and be painted by native eastern Kentucky muralist Elias Reynolds. Reynolds has a history of creating murals in other Kentucky cities such as Ashland, Russell and Richmond. Reynolds said he uses local history as a focal point for his art.

“I've been doing this thing where I take a lot of different area landmarks from a certain town or city. And, I'll kind of put them all together,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds’s mural, which measures 10 feet tall by 79 feet wide, includes subjects such as horses, the university and buildings that hold a special place in the heart of the community, such as the courthouse. It’s all in a blue and gold palette which further reinforces the ties the community has to Murray State.

“I'm really excited to be going here, to Murray,” Reynolds said. “I've never been there before. So, I'm excited to see the area and I really appreciate and am grateful for the opportunity to be able to do this.”

Reynolds said he’s tagged in another artist to help him in this large undertaking, a Nashville-based artist and fellow eastern Kentucky native named John Kesling. The two will begin work Oct. 16 and plan to have it finished by Oct. 21.

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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