More work on murals to begin in March

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 15, 2002

[02/15/02]Work on two more murals on the floodwall at City Front is expected to begin in March under the direction of an artist responsible for similar projects up and down the Mississippi River.

The first mural, sponsored by Ergon Inc., will have an 1800s maritime theme. The design for a second, being sponsored by the city, has not been decided.

The painting under the direction of Louisiana native Robert Dafford is expected to take about two weeks. Douge Dafford, Robert Dafford’s brother, is expected to begin preparations on the concrete wall this week.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said Nellie Caldwell, chairman of the city’s mural committee.

In 2001, a city committee selected a work by Vicksburg artist Martha Ferris to go on one section of the wall. Half the $15,000 project was funded by the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Ergon representatives presented a $15,000 check Thursday to fund its 20-foot section. Caldwell said that the committee is still seeking sponsors for more projects in the future.

“We’re hoping that when we get this on the wall other people will get excited,” Caldwell said.

The floodwall runs parallel to the Yazoo Diversion Canal just west of downtown. Before any mural project can begin, a rendering of the design must be approved by the city’s architectural review board and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Lamar Roberts of the Gray and Blue Naval Museum, 1102 Washington St., said the murals help tourism downtown by illustrating the history of Vicksburg.

Caldwell has said the committee is hoping to get enough sponsors to paint all the sections in the area around City Front. Each section will be separated by a border.