2022 Williamson County Fair Community Art Project Mural

2022 Williamson County Fair Community Art Project Mural

The Community Art Project returned to the Williamson County Fair with an original drawing by Franklin artist and educator Mary Ann McGinley that saw dozens of community members add their own unique touch to the collaborative project.

Williamson County Fair Cultural Arts Department Chair Ronnie Leftwich said in a phone call that the Community Art Project has been a staple of the fair since its inception, usually featuring a two-dimensional drawn piece, while other years like in 2016 featured a three-dimensional Mardi Gras bead mural, all with the goal of connecting the community through public art.

"The Fair's mission is to educate, and art is one of those pieces that we help educate the public with," Leftwich said. "It gives everyone a chance to be part of something bigger than just themselves. People come back year after year to see what they did, and they remember exactly, 'Oh, I did that piece of the ferris wheel or I did that popcorn stand.'"

McGinley is a former Poplar Grove Middle School art teacher who has always supported the cultural arts initiative at the fair, and this was the second year that she has taken the lead on creating the foundation piece of the Community Art Project.

“Now I stay at home with my kids, so I don't get to do as much art anymore, so I'm honored that they would ask me to work on this mural project,” McGinely said in a phone call. “But of course, as an art teacher, I love that so many kids and people are contributing to one thing. That's what I love to see.”

2021 Williamson County Fair Community Art Project Mural

2021 Williamson County Fair Community Art Project Mural

The piece was on display throughout the fair last week and offered community members the opportunity to add color and their own line and shape additions to the base drawing which was divided into grids.

“It's great to see people year after year come back and be excited about their contributions from the previous year,” McGinely said following the completion of this year’s mural.

“One of my favorite things that the community art project brings is not only the collaborative nature, but also educating those that are not experienced in art. So, like mixing the colors or how to clean their brush in between colors is so important to developing into an artist, but also developing skills that can be applied in day to day life. FirstBank has been the Sponsor for the Cultural Arts Exhibit for a couple of years, and we love their involvement in the arts and our community.”