Arab Art Students Paint Mural Downtown

ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) – Some of the original store fronts from the early 1900s are back in downtown Arab, thanks to about two-dozen art students from the high school.

The kids painted a mural Tuesday of old downtown shops on walls left after the demolition of the Clothes Pen.  The city council condemned the 100-year-old building in 2012.

“It was torn up, kind of run down, you know, really old and dirty, so they took it down and we’re trying to fix it and make it all beautiful for Arab,”  10th grader Camila Garcia said.

“During October we come and paint all of the Main Street business windows with Halloween and Autumn themes [for the city's Boo Festival], and again at Christmas.”

Arab Downtown Association president Kelly Ramsey saw an opportunity for the young artists to turn the old Clothes Pen lot from a negative into a positive.

“Wouldn’t it be great to be able to paint those two walls?,” Ramsey said.  “That was October, this it today, and we’re able to accomplish that with everybody’s help.”

Several businesses donated paint, ladders, scaffolds, and other equipment to the project.

Shipp and her students went to the Elvin Light Museum at the Arab Historic Village and found pictures of downtown buildings from the early 1900s.  She provided three of the students with the dimensions of the walls, and those three created a design.  They used a projector to stencil outlines on the walls the past couple of nights.  Tuesday, they painted.

“I’m drawing an old kind of car, one of the first Fords, and the background is going to be an old Shell gas station,” Matt Heard said. “We got a picture right there to tell what it is going to be. There’s a line kind of like drawn in the shape of the car, I just came in and painted it.”

The Arab Downtown Association plans to landscape the area and Ramsey said they will have sod installed in time for this weekend’s 29th Annual Poke Salat Festival.