The Jacksonville Beautification Committee recently placed three new murals on Main Street in the city. The paintings were completed by students from Jacksonville High School under the direction of their Art Teacher Marvin Lindley, who also coaches at the school.

The project was the brainchild of committee member Ron Newport in conjunction with Military Museum Director Danna Kay Duggar. The goal was to paint the three murals themed to connect with the military past of Jacksonville. The three murals depict a cannon in the Reed’s Bridge Civil War Battlefield, the launching of a Titan II missile and a Woman Ordinance Worker, WOW, from an ammunition plant that operated in Jacksonville.

The murals are located on the Work Force building in the Crestview Shopping Center on Main Street, a short distance from a train mural also painted by Lindley and his students.

According to Lindley the process for completing the murals is not an easy one. Once the subjects are suggested, he takes photos or scans images from existing photos and composes the final design often digitally manipulating the images. Once that is done, the design is transferred onto panels provided by the City Beautification Committee.

Next, the fun begins as Lindley allows volunteer art students to begin to apply the paint. He directs this process and aids the students in color mixing and selection as well as demonstrates tips and painting techniques.

Lindley is a drawing and commercial art teacher so this is the first time many of his students have painted.

This all occurs in the classroom or in a hallway outside of class all while regular classes in drawing and computer design are underway. After students apply most or all of the base colors, the coach takes over, usually relocating the panels from the classroom to his home garage.

"There I apply the finishing touches and apply coats of protective sealer to the finished works," said Lindley.

This time, with three 8 x 8 murals, it required quite a bit of work to get the murals going. But in the end Lindley says the sense of accomplishment that the students get from participating and seeing something they had a part in doing on display makes it worth it all.

Students also completed some small paintings of children and a dog that were made to fit in the windows of the caboose located in the park at the recycling center.

The Jacksonville Art Department has enjoyed many years of success under the direction of Lindley and long-time co-worker Glenda McCune. Students have outstanding work on display in the school media center gallery.

Parents and guests may view this work anytime the school is open. The Art Department will again invite the public to its third annual "For the Love of the Arts" event in February, featuring a large art exhibit, music food and entertainment.