Murals get summer makeover

Mary Ann Kearns - [email protected]
Artist Robert Dafford works on the floodwall murals this week. -

Maysville’s floodwall murals are arguably one of the area’s biggest draws for tourists — a must see for visitors to the city.

Melanie Furby Denham was executive director of the Maysville-Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce when the mural project began 20 years ago and she has again stepped up to help, along with Tom Coe, to direct efforts to make sure they remain a tourism draw.

“It is amazing to see the number of people from the surrounding counties and regions that visit the murals,” Denham said as she revealed plans to spruce up the panels devoted to Lafayette and Limestone Landing murals this summer.

The initial murals were painted in 1998. The entire series was painted over the course of 10 years with the Rosemary Clooney tribute panels the latest addition.

Like any work of art, maintaining and protecting them is vital to their longevity and work to that end is now underway for the year by Robert Dafford, the original artist who is renowned for his mural art.

“The community support over the years and recognition of the value of the murals is appreciated,” said Coe who is treasurer for the Maysville Floodwall Murals and works tirelessly to help keep the project moving forward.

Denham is quick to give credit to all those who have been involved over the years in making and keeping the murals a vital part of the community landscape.

“When I think of the mural project in Maysville, I can’t help but remember (the late) Jean Calvert and how passionate she was about the project and making sure the historical aspects were correctly depicted on the wall. She worked tirelessly with John Klee, professor of history at Maysville Community and Technical College and the Dafford Mural team alongside the staff at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center,” Denham said.

“It took a lot of people to make this project get off the ground including the late Rick Litton who was mayor of Maysville at the time the project started. The late Bill Akin donated the first money to get the mural project started. There were countless others that donated time and money to make this project happen and many people continue to do so. We are thankful,” Denham said.

Denham urged area residents to visit the murals.

“Take time to visit the murals and talk with Robert Dafford as he works to restore the Lafayette and Limestone Landing murals this summer,” she said.

As with any project, it takes funding to make sure the murals receive the attention they need and deserve. Donations, large and small, to the restoration project are appreciated and can be sent to Maysville Floodwall Murals, P. O. Box 614, Maysville, Ky. 41056.

Artist Robert Dafford works on the floodwall murals this week. Robert Dafford works on the floodwall murals this week.

Mary Ann Kearns

[email protected]