Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE MURAL OF THE STORY; Wall Painting Celebrates Kingsland's Centennial

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE MURAL OF THE STORY; Wall Painting Celebrates Kingsland's Centennial

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

KINGSLAND -- Tim Bass was very aware of the pressure when he accepted a commission to paint a mural in downtown Kingsland to commemorate the city's upcoming 100th birthday.

City officials told the Folkston artist and business owner they wanted a mural to fill a downtown wall 87 1/2 feet wide and 14 feet tall. The mural had to illustrate the city's 100-year history and be representative of all the residents who lived there.

Nearly 10 weeks after he first laid brush to brick, Bass completed the mural last week and the final product is getting positive response from everyone who has seen it at Williams Street and U.S. 17, city officials said.

"It's gotten great feedback," said Mayor Kenneth Smith. "I've seen cars take a U-turn to take a closer look."

Bass said he used old photographs to piece together a collage that chronicles city history from the time William Henry King mapped out the city that would bear his family's name a century ago.

He used the collage as a template for the mural. It has images of the old Kingsland Hotel, which is now City Hall, the Hildegard that ferried people from Kingsland to Fernandina Beach, a trolley that ran between Kingsland and St. Marys, an old gas pump, a woman fishing from a riverbank and fishermen showing strings of just-caught fish.

The goal, Bass said, was to make sure the mural was truly representative of all city residents, which is why the mural depicts African-Americans and white residents.

"It represents the entire community and nobody was slighted," said Trish Jared, the city's Downtown Development Authority director. "The positive impact it's made is refreshing."

Bass said he has never painted a mural as large as the one in Kingsland.

The challenge was trying to figure out how to paint a mural on a brick wall instead of canvas.

He opted to paint the mural entirely with air brushes so he could easily deal with mortar joints and the uneven surface of bricks. …

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