Thanks to artist Charles Boggs, a building near the entrance to the Lees College Campus of Hazard Community and Technical College will be transformed into a source of pride.
The Couch Building project is underway because of a partnership among the Jackson Woman’s Club, Breathitt Action Team, the Jackson/Breathitt Chamber of Commerce, and HCTC.
Boggs will represent Breathitt County historical life on the building that will be completed in the fall. Boggs is the same artist who completed the Telford wall mural contracted by the Breathitt County Action Team that was funded by a mini-grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The Jackson Woman’s Club initiated the Mural Project on the Couch Building as part of the state president’s special Project to beautify the community. The Couch Building was a blank canvas waiting for something great to happen. “What a great welcome to downtown Jackson. We are grateful to the college for wanting to work with the Woman’s Club and make this project possible,” noted Susan Harley, Woman’s Club president.
HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner said being part of this endeavor was important and he is looking forward to the finished work. “We are a visual society and visitors will long remember what they see when they visit Jackson. We know this will make a lasting impression.”
Harley noted, “The Jackson Woman’s Club is a civic group striving to help our community in many ways. The Mural Project is just one more way we can help Jackson/Breathitt County share our heritage while also showing the creativity of our area. We hope to assist with tourism and pride in downtown Jackson. We are excited to have HCTC partner with the Jackson Woman’s Club in this project.”
Artist Charles Boggs will use acrylic paint and brushes. He is transforming the white cinder block Couch building into a picturesque log cabin scene. Every inch will be touched by his brush and will be completely covered with paint.
Boggs noted, “I feel honored to be chosen to paint this mural. My work is usually created in solitude, with very few people actually seeing my working methods. So, I was afraid initially of working in such a visible public space. But I have found that painting outdoors in this location has sparked incredible interest and has created this remarkable opportunity for community dialogue and engagement. It has been a great pleasure. Knowing that everyone can see my ongoing process has given me a heightened desire to be at my creative best during every moment,” he said.
The mural was partly conceived as a means to present cultural history, to visualize local historical references, and to provide a glimpse into aspects of life in Eastern Kentucky through the ages. Boggs is also creating a visual seek-n-find treasure hunt for children of all ages. There will be a list of items that can be used to find the hidden objects in the mural. Another secret that this mural will hold is the hidden coordinates for a geocache. “I want this mural to be fun, colorful, and I hope it brings a smile to everyone who catches a glimpse,” Boggs said.