A Colorful History

Downtown mural completed
Thursday, May 31, 2018
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The mural near the Public Works Department site at the corner of East Jefferson and South Main Street has been completed.

The mural is part of a $44,000 downtown beautification project which began last year. The project also included replacing the 250-foot hurricane fence with cedar fencing and brick columns as well as providing a fresh coat of paint and performing repairs on the Public Works barn.

The mural consists of cedar panels which span several feet each and feature historical residents and locations from Jennings including the former Jefferson Davis High School andMoultry Cabin, the first home located in the city. The center panel is similar to the mural at Founders Park, featuring the words “Jennings, Est. 1888.”

Ronnie Collins, the local artist who painted the mural, said the project took a long time because it was a project which was constantly changing.

“People were adding more and more people as I was doing it,” Collins said. “The added pictures did end up adding more life to the mural, however, and it connected to the community and the history of Jennings better for it.”

Collins said winter weather prevented the project from finishing on time as well. He said is glad to see the project completed.

“I really like that the people are into the mural and saw the vision and wanted to be a part of it. In the beginning, people didn’t seem to be on board,” he said.

Collins said he enjoys his various jobs immensely as he gets to work as an artist for money.

“I’ve always loved doing things like this in my job. I like taking a blank wall with nothing on it and getting to create something the community will love for years,” he said.

Mayor Henry Guinn said he has enjoyed watching the project since it began under former Mayor Terry Duhon as a beautification project to enhance Jennings' appeal as a community last year.

“It highlights people and eras in time that played a significant impact in our community,” he said. “The coolest part of the mural is its dual purpose. The privacy fence hides unsightly equipment and tools needed for city maintenance. Secondly, the art enhances our goal of citywide beautification.”

Guinn said Collin’s talents may be the best Jennings has ever seen.

“His paintings will remain for decades and it’s an honor to be a part of his legacy,” he said.