Fairfield Bay murals are a Dream in Color

Fairfield Bay residents are loving the new view in The Towne Center thanks to the nonprofit We Love Van Buren County and the artists who painted colorful murals.

On Oct. 10, the FFB Chamber of Commerce hosted an unveiling ceremony and reception. “We are moving Fairfield Bay forward one project at a time,” Chamber President Jackie Sikes said. “We called this project the ‘We Love VBC Towne Center Beautification Project.’ We started raising funds a year ago this month.”

Photos by Mike Kemp

Sikes is also the chairman of We Love VBC. “This was a project of mine that I’ve wanted to do for some time,” Sikes said. “I gave each artist the opportunity to choose what they wanted to paint. Before painting, they submitted their design for approval first to my board, and then to the building’s owner.

“The ones around the pergola in the Towne Center are all musically themed. We hope to bring live music to the pergola during nice weather. The only one that has anything symbolic of the town is the butterfly mural. We are designated as a Monarch City within the state of Arkansas. That mural is meant for people to stand in front of for a photo opportunity.”

The organization was founded in 2014 and this is not their first community project. Funds for the project were raised by selling tickets for a drawing, two bake sales, and two benefit lunch events. Phase two will include a community garden and the Forgotten Pow Wow Park project at the pocket park by Indian Rock Village, a nursing/assisted living facility.

The artists who painted them were honored with a plaque at each mural. They include Tayler Rachel, butterfly fence; Debbie Bakk, the four-sided scenery mural on Dave Creek Parkway; Maud Huber, the hubcap fence on Dave Creek Parkway; Sunny Jenkins, the mushroom mural; Jane Gortney, the dancers; Tamara Newton, the drum/astronaut/sunflower girl fence; Mark Davis, deer postcard fence; Tamara Newton, the cement wall with musical notes; Karen Roethle Parise, the patriotic mural; Cynthia Schweitz, the three seasons; and, Kim Walker, the rainbow notes on the stairs.

“One mural that is really special is our quilt square wall,” Sikes said. “It is also featured on the Arkansas quilt trail website and brochures. We are the first community to put quilt squares on a cement wall.”

The following artists created the 62-quilt-square cement wall: Lisa Duggan, Coco Williamson, Patti Manville, Patti Dobbe, Cynthia Schweitz, Kay Sharpe, Betty Smith, Linda Ritchie, Kathi Parker and Gail and Ernie Campbell.

The We Love VBC board members are Sikes, president; Gator Helton, vice president; Darleen Ward, treasurer; and Kenzie Young, member at large.

Building owners who allowed the beautification projects are Sunny Hargis, Chris Norman, and the Fairfield Bay Resort and Community.

Donors and sponsors include F.L. Davis, Benjamin Moore Paints, and 501 Pressure Washing. Volunteers are Sean Sikes, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department, Rebeckah Saveachin, Keegan Hays, Stephanie LeGaux, Mitch Mitchell, Denise, and Mike Von Kanel from Mike’s Nursery.