YADKINVILLE — A new mural in the courtyard of the Yadkin Arts Council was completed late last week by artist Jeremy Sams. Set against a backdrop featuring the mountains, the Yadkin River and a vineyard is a scene depicting various types of art such as painting, dancing and music.
“It represents all forms of art and a little bit of everything from the community,” Sams said.
Arts Council board member Amos Westmoreland met Sams at an outdoor painting event in Valle Crucis on the very day the board met and discussed using a blank wall in the courtyard for a mural.
“In my conversation with Jeremy, he told me he had done murals all over the state,” Westmoreland said. “It was just sort of happenstance. Things were just lining up for a reason. What are the odds we would discuss a mural on the day I met him. Certain people are just put in your path for a reason.”
At the board meeting, Arts Council President John Willingham asked Westmoreland if he would be interested in painting a mural on the blank wall.
“I didn’t particularly want to paint it, but I said I could be in charge of it and I knew a guy who could do it,” Westmoreland said. Sams’ previous work was presented to the committee and he was asked to do it.
Westmoreland said the brick ledge below the mural was known as the “sitting wall” and so part of the inspiration of the painting was to show people sitting on the wall enjoying art. It was also important to the group that many types of art from performing arts to visual art would be showcased in the painting.
“We wanted to include as much in that scene as we could,” Westmoreland said.
Sams lives in Archdale and has been working as an artist now for 17 years. He paints portraits, landscapes, murals and is most often found outside painting en plein air, french for “in the open air.”
Sams began the arts council mural about two weeks ago and said the best time to work has been in the mornings before the sun gets to high causing a reflection on the wall that hinders his progress. He began the project by sketching with pad and pencil what he wanted the design to look like. The background scene was painted first followed by the outline of the people in the foreground. Last Monday Sams was painstakingly painting in the features of the people.
Westmoreland commented last week on the progress Sams was making and said he was very pleased with the work so far.
“He’s an excellent artist and just a very nice guy,” Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland also said he would like to see more of Sams work grace blank walls through Yadkinville for passersby to enjoy.
“We just think that would be a wonderful idea to be around town for people to see,” he said.
The Arts Council will host an unveiling ceremony for the new mural on June 10 at 5:30 p.m. Arts Council board members and artist Jeremy Sams will be present at the event.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.