Artist Uses Life-Sized Mural to Revitalize Rector’s Historic District
A historic building on South Main Street in Downtown Rector Arkansas, is now a center attraction. Joel Boyd is the mastermind behind a mural on its side. Stretching fifteen feet tall, and forty-three feet across.
“We were looking to have an image that would sort of pay tribute to the some of the rich history that rector has in agriculture and business,” says Boyd.
The focal point is the steam engine, cotton belt and railcars. The picture also shows the bank of Rector, downtown store fronts, and a bandstand. Joel spent a year perfecting it.
“I knew that putting it at this scale and having the train almost life-size would not only draw the attention of our community, but also anyone who’s driving through,” adds Boyd. “I’ve had so many people stop and take pictures.”
The mural is a part of a larger plan to restore the downtown rector building to its original glory. Shannon Haywood’s family owns the property, and saw it fit to partner with Joel to turn its future around when it became run down.
“A storm came through here….and knocked the siding off, and I got a peek of what was underneath,” says Haywood. “So I wanted to try to take it back to the original stucco. And felt like a mural would fit in perfectly.”
Joel takes pride in the value the piece adds to his hometown. And says the time he’s invested in painting it, has been equally rewarding.
Boyd says “it’s fun to work outdoors….it’s fun to be among the community. We get lots of conversations going. And that’s been a real joy to do this.”
The mural is a mainstay, that will tell Rector’s story that all stop to look.
Joel says he has some finishing touches to add but expects to have the mural completed before the end of the year. The mural was funded in part by a ten-thousand-dollar grant from the state to preserve the building.