Art gives Thomasville fresh look

Murals make Chair City an art destination
Sep. 13, 2013 @ 12:15 PM

A dark alleyway is accompanied with a splash of color. A street corner is surrounded by relics of the past and present.

Thomasville Beautification Committee, with the help of a few of their friends, have shed light on areas of the Chair City that might represent potentially-dangerous locations in other cities. A local artist has helped in the process.
Phil Christman, who has painted murals in Thomasville since the early 1990s, was back in town the last several weeks restoring murals throughout the downtown area. He finished this renovation project Sept. 4.
"He maintained the original, and just invigorated and refreshed those paintings, and in turn, the downtown area," said Carol Brown, chairperson of the committee. "He did it and we're just happy as a lark that it turned out as good as it did."
The Beautification Committee also is responsible for the landscaping around the murals. Other murals in the city have embellished the efforts of the committee, including Christman originals on Trade Street, Main Street and J. Thomas Way.
His final mural was painted in 2010 at Cates Alley, named for a lady known to the Thomasville community simply as Mrs. Cates. A resident and member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, she donated the land near the corner of Commerce Street and Main Street, adjacent to the Farmers Market.
Sue Hunter, a member of People Achieving Community Enhancement, asked Christman to paint the murals back in the 1990s after she befriended the local artist.
"I don't know how I became friends with him, it's been so many years ago," Hunter said during the restoration of the Trade Street mural. "Phil is a person who is interested in Thomasville. He feels a part of Thomasville because of he grew up at Mills Home."
Christman's mural on Main Street depicts the haven for displaced children. Through the use of what some might perceive to be ordinary material, the Beautification Committee, PACE and Christman have come together to renew an aesthetically pleasant area.
"I believe in what's being done to revitalize Thomasville," added Hunter.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.

For information about Chair City Art Contest, visit http://www.tvilletimes.com/features/x1568238275/Chair-City-Art-sweeps-the-area