The right image . . .mural at Wolfe County Farm Bureau office honors rural culture

Posted on Feb 1, 2013
Entering downtown Campton from the east on Main Street, it’s hard to miss the Wolfe County FB office. Adorning the side of the building facing west is an eye-catching 8 ½ X 44-foot mural depicting farm and rural scenes from Wolfe County, where some 600 farms are scattered among the Appalachian foothills.

The mural depicts farm and rural scenes from Wolfe County.

The artwork is part of a community development project spearheaded by Wolfe County FB Directors George and Pam Pilgrim and made possible by the creativity of local artist Linda Harse-Lancette. She designed the nine-panel mural after several weeks of observing various scenes throughout the county, and then supervised the painting project in which 28 volunteers worked a total of 284 hours over a 27-day period culminating last September.

The project was sponsored by the Downtown Campton Renaissance Alliance, which is chaired by George Pilgrim. Pam Pilgrim, who is Vice President of Wolfe County FB, moved things forward by putting together a grant application submitted to the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College. The grant was approved through the Appalachian Regional Commission to support a community enhancement project. Pam, who coordinated the project, then enlisted Mrs. Harse-Lancette to come up with a design, conduct required workshops and oversee the painting.

Mrs. Harse-Lancette is a New York native and former Art teacher. She and husband Bernie moved to a Wolfe County farm from Syracuse in 1998 to lead, as she put it, “a quieter life.” She  has a business, “Art Naturally,” involving various types of art, including gourds, wheat weaving and egg art and carvings.

She said she got the idea for the panels and borders from a quilt show in Paducah.

“The first concept I has was a ‘then and now’ agriculture type of thing but I was afraid it might be too difficult in drawing equipment, horses and some other aspects,” she explained. “But after two months of looking around the county I thought it would be especially eye-catching to do a four-seasons thing and show different times of day. It was a better way for people to paint layer-by-layer. I made it harder to mess up. But we still have a lot of things in there.”

A schedule was set up for the various participants to take their turns painting. The group included County Judge-Executive Dennis Brooks and Wolfe County Schools Superintendent Kenny Bale, as well as the entire Wolfe County FB Board.

To prepare for the mural, the surface was power-washed. And the building also received fresh paint, a new porch and sidewalk.

“This was basically a learning thing that helped us dress up the building,” said Wolfe County FB President Carroll Amyx, who also serves on the KFB Board of Directors.

The mural is lighted at night.

Pam Pilgrim said the project is a source of great pride for Wolfe County FB, but is not an uncommon achievement.

“Our Farm Bureau is very involved in community affairs,” she said. “Our board members serve other organizations and we really like to do things to improve the community and agriculture. We are very proud of our farmer’s market; it’s a good sized market and getting bigger each year. We also have a greenhouse project in the works.”

Wolfe County FB also is selling prints of the mural to raise money for a local animal shelter.

Coincidentally, the mural was completed just prior to the dedication of a sparkling new Wolfe County Judicial Center which is nearby on Main Street.

Tagged Post Topics Include: Appalachian Regional Commission, Berea College, Brushy Fork Institute, Dennis Brooks, Downtown Campton Renaissance Alliance, George Pilgrim, Kenny Bale, KFB, Linda Harse-Lancette, Pam Pilgrim, Wolfe County, Wolfe County Judicial Center