By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Emily Harp is happy with the fact that artist Patti Gillespie finished ahead of schedule her conversion of the outer wall of Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce headquarters into a work of art, except for one thing.
The early finish has forced Harp, the Chamber’s executive director, and her staff to hurry in order to put together a dedication ceremony for the 12-feet-by-30-feet painting that now covers a large portion of the Ridgeley Street side of the Chamber building.
That ceremony has been set for 5:30 p.m. this Friday, August 10.
Pastor Jim Thorpe of First Presbyterian Church will offer the prayer of dedication, and Mayor Jim Staff will speak. The rest of the program is being planned on the fly.
“Basically, she finished a week ahead of schedule,” Harp said of the noted muralist. “So we’re still putting the final plans together. We’d love for all the community to come and have their pictures taken with it.”
She encouraged those who do snap photos of the giant wall painting and post them to social media sites to tag each one with the #DiscoverAtmore theme.
Harp said the Kona Ice truck will be onsite, cupcakes will be available and some form of music will serve as a backdrop to the ceremony.
“We’re still working on the music, still trying to work that out,” the Chamber director said. “We’re trying to line up some live music, but we might have to go with recorded music.”
She pointed out that Friday’s ceremony is designed to bring locals and visitors together in a family atmosphere. She added that the mural is designed to help passing motorists take notice that the city has more to offer than many might think.
“It’s going to be a little summer celebration, a good family time, and we would love to have a huge turnout,” Harp said. “We want everybody to celebrate this big step toward our tourism initiative.”
News photo by Ditto Gorme