The Macon County Arts Council (MCAC) recently hung a mural of one of the most beautiful attractions in our county, the Union Camp waterfall, on the side of Cathy’s Florist, located on the public square in Lafayette.
Thanks to florist owner Jacki Hutcherson, talented artist Linda Johnson and several young volunteers, we can now see the depiction of this remarkable attraction everyday with one glimpse of the flower shop. Linda Johnson lives in a world of imagination where colors are all she requires to generate a work of vivid art.
Jacki could predict how people would feel about the scenic waterfall on the side of her building, because the beautiful setting behind the Union Camp Missionary Baptist Church, holds a symphony of memories for her as well as many other folks in Macon County. This waterfall has influenced many people throughout the years, including friends, relatives and even strangers who visit this place over and over.
When Jacki was first approached by the MCAC last year to see if she would be interested in a mural being hung on her building, she wasn’t sure at first, until they mentioned the waterfall, and that was all it took! “When I was told that the mural would be of the Union Camp waterfall, I was convinced this would be perfect for my building,” Jacki said. “I belong to Union Camp Missionary Baptist Church and I have a lot of wonderful memories of the waterfall growing up. The cool waters and beautiful country side are truly a powerful experience that has stood the test of time, bringing laughter and joy to the hearts of men, women and children.”
Jacki’s grandparents lived off the Union Camp Road and she remembers walking through the hollow to go to church and she is reminded off the simpler times in life. “This place won my heart over when I was a young girl, and I have visited the waterfall with my own children, where beauty has been maintained by the good Lord.”
When I spoke with Linda Johnson last week about the mural, she explained that Nancy Doss had called her late last year and asked if she would help with a project. “I agreed and we went to Cumberland University to see what they had done,” said Linda. “The mural there was huge but it was really beautiful, so we decided to do ours large too.”
Linda took a picture of the waterfall and she asked her son, Jason, to break it down into seven colors, but he ended up finding ten that he could break it into. “We then ordered the ten colors.”
She later sketched the waterfall on the projector and when she turned the lights on, it was very crude. “I then sketched the color space and the young volunteers filled it in and made it thick and pretty,” the artist said. “It took about 100 hours beginning in January to finish the mural and when I first started it was so cold I had to have heaters and even wear gloves.”
Although it was very time consuming, Linda says she just loved working on the project. “Nancy Doss put the final touch on it, with a thick coating to seat the mural,” added Linda. “I was thrilled with the outcome and when it went up, it was just incredible. I certainly hope everyone is pleased with it.”