As a member of the Board of Directors for Mainstreet Fayette, Vicki Turner is passionate about revitalizing and promoting Fayetteville’s downtown district. She understands that an impressive courthouse, built in 1825, the oldest in the state of Georgia, surrounded by towering trees, a grassy square, walkways and comfortable benches, gives Fayetteville the perfect focal point and gathering spot to attract residents downtown for music, good food and cultural events.
For three years, Vicki kicked around the idea of highlighting the talent of local artists by featuring their paintings on street banners surrounding the courthouse square. In 2015, her vision was embraced and funded by Fayetteville Main Street. Over 30 artists submitted paintings to be considered for one of eight courthouse banners. After judges reviewed the work, 16 paintings were selected for display. Eight were featured for six months and in February, a new group of eight paintings were hung for the public to enjoy. “I want to bring more people into the town center,” says Vicki. “The Banner Project is a way to beautify the square and feature some of the work of our talented local artists.”
The banners portray an eclectic mix of themes, including abstract art, nature, and architecture, among others. The artists are an eclectic mix as well, of various ages and backgrounds – from hobbyists to professionals like Steven Stinchcomb, whose artwork is featured in galleries throughout the South. Vicki, another recognized painter who displays her artwork at local businesses and was previously honored to paint an ornament for the White House Christmas tree, was thrilled when one of her works, “Flowers,” was chosen to grace a banner in the first series of eight that were displayed.
Chris Fraser, who calls himself a “weekend artist,” was pleased to have his painting of a beloved landmark, Starr’s Mill, selected for one of the banners currently on display. His piece called “Fishin’ at the Old Mill” pops with color and has a nostalgic feel. “Being selected to display my artwork in the form of a banner where the old Fayetteville courthouse stands was quite an honor,” says Chris. “It allowed me to bring art and history together. The artwork I chose was inspired by historical Starr’s Mill. Using a little artistic expression and license, I chose to include a couple of boys enjoying a summer day while fishing. Anyone who visits the old mill will undoubtedly feel a certain amount of relaxation as the sounds of the waterfall and rippling water rush by. Hopefully this was projected through the artwork displayed on the banner and points to the history of the Fayetteville area.”
Vicki Turner and the other artists hope you will be motivated to take the whole family for a walk around the courthouse square to view the banners and enjoy other activities planned throughout the summer. For more information on Fayetteville Main Street events, go to Fayetteville-ga.gov.