An artist has been selected to paint a new mural for downtown Williamsburg.
The Whitley County Community Green Dot Program has selected Hilary Baker to paint the mural, which will be done on metal panels and placed on a wall at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Street in Williamsburg.
The mural is of butterfly wings and incorporates messages of kindness, goodness, love, compassion, inclusiveness and faith, and it also includes violence prevention strategies.
A panel of five judges selected Baker’s mural design earlier this month out of a field of 10 proposals.
A committee of five people selected their top three favorites and then the selections were narrowed down based on the content as it relates to the proposal requirements, the ability for the mural to be interactive with the community, and the ability for the mural to be completed within the grant timeframes.
“In my ‘daytime job’ I work as a child victims therapist, which means that I provide trauma therapy to children who are often victims of violence. I was really inspired by the children and the families that I work with and also the Green Dot community violence prevention program, which teaches and trains people on how they can be proactive against violence within their community,” Baker explained.
“My mural plays on the idea of the Butterfly Effect and the concept that small changes – just like the flap of a butterfly’s wing – can lead to a significant and meaningful impact. I wanted to create something that provides community members in Whitley County the opportunity to come together, participate in its creation, and have the ability to continue to interact with the mural as a commitment to stand up for the things that are right.”
Judges were unaware about which artists submitted the designs until after the winning selection was announced.
Cecelia White, Cumberland River Behavioral Health Victims Services Director, noted there were several reasons why Baker’s design was chosen, including that it encompasses the concepts of the Green Dot violence prevention strategy in that there is something that everyone can do to prevent violence and that all actions are equally valuable.
White noted that the mural will also be interactive in that it will bring people to downtown Williamsburg to take their pictures with the mural and post on social media with the hashtags #greendotneighbor, #bekind, and #greendotyall.
“This will likely start conversations about why the mural was painted and that everyone has an opportunity to make the community a place that ‘Feels Like Home’ where people are taken care of, kind, and look out for one another. Williamsburg already uses the motto of ‘Feels Like Home,’” White said.
She added that there is a community involvement portion where Whitley County community members are invited to come to Capers, which is located at 175 E. Peachtree Street in Corbin, Jan. 16-17 between the hours of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. to help color in portions of the metal panels that the mural is painted on.
During that time there will be informal discussions about the Green Dot program and participants will be a part of something positive within the community.
The Green Dot program, which is a bystander intervention program in part, was developed at the University of Kentucky in 2006. It was then expanded into high schools across the state of Kentucky in 2009.
In a five-year research project between the University of Kentucky, the Center for Disease Control, and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Green Dot was found to reduce the rates of perpetration of sexual violence by up to 50 percent.
The mural is part of a social marketing campaign that depicts components of the Community Green Dot program, according to the mural grant proposal.
“The campaign will focus on the problem of power based personal violence. The rates of power based personal violence are high as evidenced by the following statistics. One in four women and one in ten men are the victims of sexual violence. One in three women and one in nine men are the victims of domestic violence. One in three children are bullied. Every ten seconds a child is abused,” the grant proposal stated.