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Waco to honor western muralist

Nov. 13, 1998



Texas residents and visitors have worked the past four years to paint a 48'x8' mural titled 'A Little Dab of Texas' that has been recognized as a state project by the Texas House of Representatives.

Waco will have a chance to play host to the mural on Nov. 27 and 28.

Frames Etc. in the Lake Air Mall will hold a reception for Jim Campbell, a contemporary western artist and designer of the mural, and the participating painters from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 27.

'There were 430 people from Waco that worked on the painting,' John Orr, assistant manager for Frames Etc., said. 'All in all there were 25,297 who contributed.'

People from more than 844 Texas towns, 44 states and 21 foreign countries have worked toward its completion. Some of the more unusual painters have been a clown, three blind people, a 14-day-old boy and a dog.

'When so many people are given the opportunity to paint, you never know what's going to happen,' Campbell said. 'There is now an outline of the state of Texas on the longhorn and the cows have eyelashes.'

Campbell wanted to produce a large work of art with the help of all different types of people. The idea began when he was in New York. He wanted to draw a paint-by-number and then have it auctioned off for charity, but the idea never developed into anything. Campbell then moved back to Texas and decided to try the idea here.

Campbell spent four months drawing western themes on 12 panels. He used the colors Desert Peach, Yellow Destiny, Aqua Bead, Violet Vista, Intense Jade, Radiant Coral and Ultra Blue. Once the mural was completed, the panels were pieced together to depict life in the early west. Campbell then added a drop of color to each part of the painting to guide those who came to paint.

The mural was promoted in many different ways, such as a fund raiser for non-profit organizations and an attempt to get into The Guinness Book of Records. Campbell said he would do whatever it took to get people interested.

'A high school in San Antonio raised $1,500 in about five hours,' Campbell said.

Campbell said seven southwest colors have brought together people from across the state and the country to focus on one goal, creating what could possibly be viewed as a little dab of Texas history.

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