August 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
DeKalb County is known for tourist attractions such as Center Hill Lake and the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival and those scenes are captured in a “Hometown” mural which is now complete on the exterior west wall of the Gayla C. Hendrix Law Office building on the public square.
Hendrix came up with the idea for the mural and turned to local muralist Scott Shaw of Breakthrough Murals to create the design. They invited WJLE down for the unveiling of “Hometown” on Monday morning.
“I had the idea of utilizing this wall space for quite some time and traveling to other towns I had seen where a lot of people had done murals . I thought those looked really cool and promoted their small towns. One day I was at the Button Willow Coffee Shop downtown and ran into Scott who was doing a mural for them inside. I introduced myself and told him you are just who I am looking for. I want something like this mural on my building. Scott gave me his business card and we got together and I started sharing ideas I had. I wanted to incorporate scenes from all around our small town including the lake, the Fiddlers Jamboree, and Storytelling. I gave him my ideas and showed him some pictures from the Fiddlers Jamboree website and told him of scenes from the lake that I liked and he came up with the design. We tweaked it a few times and this is the end result” said Hendrix.
Originally from New York, Shaw said he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1994 before settling in Tennessee. Over the years Shaw has dabbled in creating murals for others and was excited to be able to showcase his talents in downtown Smithville.
“I am originally from northern New York. I have been dabbling in murals for probably 20 years part time. I moved to Phoenix in 1994 and worked in child care and did small murals for friends on the side. I was later blessed to be able to come to Tennessee. I work at Federal Mogul here in Smithville. I happened to be at the coffee shop one day and showed a patron some of my work and Joe and Angela Brown of Button Willow asked me if I would be interested in doing a mural for them. I started a mural there and then ran into Gayla who told me about her great idea for this mural. She asked me if I would be interested in doing it. I was so excited to work with Gayla to create this amazing mural for the wall and town,” said Shaw.
The Mural appears to actually break through the brick wall in sort of a 3D image and depicts a man whittling as a pastime, a young man with his arms raised holding a banjo over his head facing a lake view, a young lady fiddler, a youngster playing a bass fiddle, and a woman sharing a story with a child.
Hendrix said she hadn’t thought much about giving the mural a name until people began asking about it.
“A lot of people would drive by and stop to ask questions because they were curious about it. They would ask what the painting was called. Scott and I thought about it and I talked to my sister and we came up with the idea “Hometown”,” said Hendrix.