Presbyterian College student Barrett Moody is leaving a permanent mark on the City of Clinton.
Over the last several years, Moody turned her interest in public service and entrepreneurship into meetings with city officials and a real-life education in municipal government and economic development. As a result, she is spearheading a project to design and develop a mural in downtown Clinton that residents will enjoy long after she graduates.
“Public art is like music or literature to me,” she said. “It makes the town invigorating and humanizes it – it gives it character. Brick-and-mortar buildings can get kind of boring for some residents, so murals are really a good thing. They offer something the city can market – especially a town like Clinton that doesn’t have a clear branding point.
“This mural is a way for Clinton to go out and make a good statement to people that we’re changing – which is a rarity for smalltown America – and that we’re investing in looking more modern and restoring that historic vibe that has always been here.”
The mural project emerged from a “thinkubator” Moody hosted with students and local business owners to share ideas on what they wanted to improve the economic landscape in their community. As it turned out, addressing the actual landscape was a common goal.
“I thought ground zero was beautifying the town so that people and businesses want to move in and people are able to have things to do was also the most cost-feasible and time-feasible project we could do,” Moody said. “So, I took that idea to some of the officials in the City of Clinton to see if they had any interest in it – and they did. So, I kind of learned project management and art. I’ve grown a huge appreciation for art even though I’ve never been an artist myself. I just had a vision for the city.”
Janette Marvin, the artist who created the mural on Musgrove Street for Clinton Canopy, will also paint the city’s mural, incorporating individual designs submitted by Clinton High School students. So far, the city has raised $1,500 towards the $7,500 cost of the mural.
To support the project, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Canebrake Engineering and Surveying are hosting a fundraiser, “Mimosas for the Mural,” from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Berkshire Hathaway’s Clinton office on 202 West Main Street.