the Anita’s Atelier building in Bakersville. Ormond began the mural Sept. 15.

Bakersville mural nears completion

BAKERSVILLE – If one has been through Bakersville in the past month, one has probably noticed an artist hard at work painting a mural on the brick wall beside the entrance to Anita’s Atelier.

Rhea Ormond of the Toe River Arts Council started painting the 8-by-16-foot mural Sept. 15 and she is almost finished.

Ormond’s mural shows a mountain landscape with four clay figures in front. The clay figures depict a glass blower, a potter, a weaver and a painter.

Owner of Anita’s Atelier Anita Connelly approached TRAC with the idea of a mural beside her business a few months ago.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for years,” Connelly said. “It just never got done until now.”

Ormond, who has been painting murals for about 50 years and has creations displayed in Asheville and her current hometown of Burnsville, was happy to do the job, but since she is retired, she could not do it for free.

“It was exciting, but I knew I couldn’t come up with the money,” Connelly said. “So, I just started spreading the word.”

Connelly raised $2,500 in less than two weeks to pay for the mural.

“Not one person said no,” she said. “It was a real shot in the arm.”

Connelly told Ormond she wanted the mural to depict Roan Mountain and local arts. Ormond’s idea for the mural was born after drafting a preliminary sketch with Connelly’s vision in mind.

“Roan Mountain is predominant and the arts are represented by brick people,” Ormond said. “This way, they’re anonymous. They don’t look like anybody. I love the brick and exposing it so I use simple, black lines.”

Ormond said this past week she had to finish some details and is planning to complete it soon. It was important for her to finish before the weather gets too cold because it makes Ormond’s painting schedule unpredictable.

“It’s all about the temperature of the wall,” Ormond said. “When it was warm, I was starting at 8 a.m., but lately I’ve been starting at 10 a.m. The sun hits this wall about 1 p.m. and it radiates heat. I get dizzy so I’m off the schedule at that point.”

Ormond said she gets plenty of feedback from people walking or driving by.

“I hear so many comments,” she said. “People stop at the light and they all love it. There’s only been one person that asked if I was going to do faces on the clay people. I just said ‘no.’ Most people really like it because it’s so unique.”

The MItchell News

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