Murals on Main comes alive in Union Springs

Murals on Main comes alive in Union Springs

UNION SPRINGS, Ala. (WSFA) - With a large mural of Hank Williams on a building wall, Midge Putnam ‘saw the light’ one year ago. She came up with the idea of boosting tourism in Bullock County.

“Just with the Facebook traffic, we’re seeing people stopping and taking photos," said Putnam, executive director of the Bullock County Tourism Council.

One year and five murals later, it’s become the talk of the town, enough of a splash to lure Gov. Kay Ivey to the city.

“We are celebrating Alabama’s bicentennial," Ivey said. She cut the ribbon to formally celebrate the murals, starting with Hank Williams staring back from a bygone era.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made a stop in Union Springs to speak. A mural of Hank Williams Sr., who has roots in Bullock County, appears in the background.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made a stop in Union Springs to speak. A mural of Hank Williams Sr., who has roots in Bullock County, appears in the background. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

”With Hank Williams having a connection to Bullock County," said Putnam.

And a block or two away, school children treated the crowd with ‘My Girl,’ a long-ago hit by The Temptations with co-founder Eddie Kendricks smiling down for all the world to see from another wall.

Union Springs, Alabama, is boosting tourism with a series of murals, like this one of The Temptations co-founder Eddie Kendricks.
Union Springs, Alabama, is boosting tourism with a series of murals, like this one of The Temptations co-founder Eddie Kendricks. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“A new avenue of sprucing up the town and bringing in tourists," Putman said.

In recent years art murals have become must-see attractions in many towns across the country. An artist recently turned the water tank in Camden, Alabama, into a nature scene. Camden happens to be the governor’s hometown.

Camden, Alabama's, water tower
Camden, Alabama's, water tower (Source: Big Daddy Lawler)

The work in Union Springs was done at the hands of Wes Hardin. “To have the governor honor my work, I have never in my career had any honor like that," Hardin admitted.

He says he feels good about the work he’s done in downtown Union Springs, but the real grade came from Eddie Kendricks’ sister who gave it more than a thumbs up.

Gov. Kay Ivey listens as Midge Putnam talks about the murals' conception.
Gov. Kay Ivey listens as Midge Putnam talks about the murals' conception. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“It captures his smile, his inner spirit, and his soul," said Patricia Simpson, of Birmingham.

The murals tell the stories of people from a different time. With Midge Putnam’s conception and Wes Hardin’s handiwork, they have resurrected local history and brought it closer to home.

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