When plans were being made for Lawrenceburg’s bicentennial, the Lawrenceburg/Anderson County Tourism Commission wanted to play a role by creating a lasting reminder of this momentous occasion for residents and visitors alike. A visual representation of Lawrenceburg highlighting some of our iconic people, places and events resulted.
The commission approved hiring local artist Carla Canonero Phillips to be the one to capture 200 years of our history in a single mural. After doing her own research and using information gathered by the tourism office, Carla produced a drawing that highlights many of the elements for which Lawrenceburg is known. Distilleries. Wineries. The quaint downtown. Cruise ins. Young’s High railroad bridge. The fair and horse show. The Ripy House. Kavanaugh School.
For the past several weeks, Carla has worked to paint that design onto 5 large aluminum panels. Upon installation, they form an almost seamless mural, 10 feet high by 25 feet long. Chelsea Lynn Gailhouse assisted Carla with details during the final week of painting.
“Carla’s initial drawing was met with overwhelmingly positive response from those who saw it,” said Kendall Clinton, executive director of the Lawrenceburg/Anderson County Tourism Commission. “I think what is on the actual mural is even better, exceeding our initial expectations. Residents of Lawrenceburg can have pride in how their hometown is portrayed and visitors will get the opportunity to see what makes Lawrenceburg so special. Hopefully they will get to experience a few of those things themselves while they are here.”
Difficulty planning the bicentennial celebration, due to coronavirus-related concerns that kept the committee from meeting, has forced that event to be delayed until 2021. Since it is the actual bicentennial year, however, the tourism commission wanted to go ahead with getting the mural in place as originally planned.
The mural was installed on the side of the building occupied by the Chenoweth Law Offices, facing the Anderson County Clerk’s Office. The Chenoweths and building owner Dudley Shryock all viewed and approved of the mural design before Carla began painting it.
On September 10, Matt McMichael, owner of MCC Home Improvement, volunteered his time and provide workers to help install the mural. It was mounted in the center of a black border painted earlier in the week by Robert Wiley, who also volunteered his time and talent, using paint that was donated by Lawrenceburg Supply. This project was accomplished through a real community effort!
About the artist:
Carla Phillips graduated with a BFA in Painting and History from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and later earned a Bachelors in Theology. She spent years coordinating the design and display department of an international non-profit organization. Carla has painted numerous murals, most recently for the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Owen County. To see more of her work visit CarlaCanonero.com