New mural saluting Jimmie Rodgers will soon grace downtown Meridian building

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The city of Meridian will soon have some new artwork to show off, thanks to a collaborative effort by the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation and the Meridian Museum of Art. It will be in the form of a giant mural to pay tribute to the ‘Father of Country Music’.

What was an idea a couple of years ago, will become a reality in just a couple of weeks. A handful of artists have been working on a mural on the Vise Building in downtown Meridian for the past five days.

“We feel very happy that it’s Jimmie Rodgers because he’s a great example of what it is to fight for your dreams,” said Linda Candelo, owner of the Vise Building. “He fought to be an artist, to become an artist and the legend that he is. I think it’s going to be very beautiful and inspirational and colorful mural that is going to bring so much to Meridian in general.”

The mural will be the largest in Meridian and the first “augmented reality” mural in Mississippi, meaning it will be interactive. It’s being largely funded by the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation through donations.

“You can go to our social media, our website, Instagram, Facebook and you can donate directly,’ said Leslie Lee, executive director of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation. “You can do it with a credit card, Venmo, PayPal. Look for Nine for Nine Campaign. That’s our mural funding campaign. The great thing about this it’s all community funded because we are doing this for the city to commemorate the life and legacy of Jimmie Rodgers.”

Daniel Ethridge is one of the artists working on the project. He actually came up with the design for a Jimmie Rodgers Festival several years ago and has made just a minor change or two. The challenge is taking the artwork and putting it on the side of a rather large building.

“We have a perfect grid,” said Ethridge. “We can grid down to the inch literally, so every square inch of this wall is mapped into a computer and that’s what we’re putting on the wall today. It’s a fun process and it’s my favorite part of the process because you get to use your brain. You’re connecting the art to the actual wall and the painting is fun too.”

The project is expected to be complete in the next week or so.

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