By Rebekah Martin
Phase two of the Carver-Jeter master plan will begin Saturday with an event that will involve community members and artists painting telephone poles along South Fourth and Auburn Streets. Community members will be paired in groups two to four per pole and will have the freedom to paint the pole as they choose.
According to Carole Carson, head artist for the Carver-Jeter Master Plan, people can expect to see several historical scenes painted on the poles including the J.W. Darden High School and other historical Carver-Jeter landmarks . Some poles will be designed by artists, and some will be designed by community members. “It’s an opportunity to better the community and for the community to come together and get to know each other. Really, that is what it is all about is introducing community members to each other and giving them ways to do things together that will build and strengthen the community,” Carson said.
Carson said the inspiration for the Paint the Poles event came from a similar community project in Victoria, Canada. Mirroring the street murals on South Fourth Street, the poles in the area will continue the celestial theme. “So people can paint suns and stars and things like that,” Carson said. She added that children can come and use art supplies like stencils and sponges to decorate the poles. The area toward South Railroad Avenue will follow a train/Opelika theme, that will tell the history of the railroad town.
The Paint the Poles event is May 14 from 9 a.m.-4p.m. Community members will also have the opportunity to stop by the Lewis Cooper Library and give a verbal account of their memories of the Carver-Jeter communities and their history to be recorded This “storyline” event will be from 12-4 p.m. The audio recordings will eventually be online as a way to hear the history of the neighborhoods.