The Train Mural is a part of a successful initiative to improve the look and feel of the Historic Downtown Area of the City of Fitzgerald, GA. The location of the mural is in the heart of the Historic Downtown area on a major thoroughfare where two major highways cross. Previously, you would have sat at a red light and looked at the side of a wall where a building had collapsed. Now that space is being turned into a public park and the first step was putting a large scale mural in that space to create a focal point. While the western side of the downtown area has seen more revitalization with the creation of the parks and beautification projects, the location of this mural is on the eastern side of the downtown area and part of an economic development plan to make the eastern side of the downtown area more enticing for new businesses.
Without the assistance and support of the Georgia Council for the Arts, the scale and size of this mural project would have been decreased tremendously or maybe not possible not at all. Ultimately, the GCA grant allowed us to expand our reach of community members by being able to pick a large derelict yet prominent location with zero visual obstructions in a high traffic volume area, reaching the entire community. The artist also encouraged local participation in the painting of the mural. This gave the community the sense of ownership and being a part of the improvements. The completion of the mural has been a major step forward in making the community a more unified and vibrant place to be and making the arts readily available and accessible to all residents of Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County, along with tourists.