Just ahead of the upcoming Foothills Festival, the art scene in downtown Jasper is alive and vibrant.
Colorful murals by Missy Miles have popped up in downtown Jasper over the past few years, and the artist now has an art exhibit in Jasper and is set to embark on one of her largest murals to date.
Miles' gourd art and paintings will be on display for the next few months on the second floor of Synovus Bank in downtown Jasper. Many of the intricately carved gourds are on turning display tables to showcase their depth of design, and large paintings are also incorporated into the exhibit. One painting features a large, green fish surrounded by pops of red, blue, yellow and peach tones, while another features a red bird surrounded by a serene country landscape.
The art on display was originally featured as part of Miles' art gallery in Hamilton that was open for over 10 years. She said seeing the art now in Jasper is bittersweet.
"It just came a time that I had to close the shop. It's sad, and it's rejuvenating," Miles said. "I have a mixed bag on the exhibit because it means the end of the gallery, but yet it's a new direction, and I'm able to keep my focus on murals now. At this time in my life, that's what I need to do is focus on one thing."
She added, "I feel blessed to have had a gallery open for 10 years. ... I've had hundreds of gourd friends that have visited the shop. Now I'm just spreading the love, I guess you could say."
While Miles' art will be on display for a while in Jasper, she is also sticking around for the next couple of weeks to paint a new mural on the Burton building at the corner of 19th Street West and 2nd Avenue in downtown Jasper. It will pay homage to Burton Manufacturing Co. that used to be located in the city and made golf bags.
Miles will start on the mural today, and it will be painted on the back of the Burton building, at the top of the structure.
"This is the tallest that I've ever done and won't be the longest, but it will be close," Miles said.
She expects to complete the mural within seven to nine days, weather permitting.
"This is also going to be happening during Foothills, so I'm excited that this is kind of an added attraction — actually seeing a mural in the works when everyone is downtown. I think that's going to be great," Miles said.
The Burton golf mural will be Miles' 77th mural and her fourth in Jasper. Her other murals in downtown include the Sgt. William Jasper - Battle of Fort Sullivan mural, We Hang Together United mural and the Coca-Cola mural. She also painted signage for The Cigar Box Lounge downtown.
Miles' other murals are located in Marion, Fayette, Lamar and Jefferson counties.
To inquire about Miles' art or to request a commission piece, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Miles' art exhibit at Synovus, the art of Alan Woelhart is on display at Pinnacle Bank in downtown Jasper.
The art exhibits are sponsored by Jasper Main Street and the Walker County Arts Alliance.