Mural art breathes life back into Bonifay community

The arts are alive and well in Bonifay with a second mural underway on the side of one of the historical buildings along the townÂ’s main drag.

The idea of the murals goes back many years between Emily McCann and artist Brandy Jordan and began to take on a life in October when Jordan painted the 12-foot by 36-foot mural of Hotel Eureka on the side of the Bush Paint & Decorating Center building in Eureka Square. Notably, Jordan first painted a mural of Hotel Eureka inside of Willie DÂ’s restaurant back in 1997.

McCann said she wanted to move forward with the idea in 2018 when a committee met and wanted to revitalize downtown beginning with beautification.

“I have wanted to do this for years but didn’t think I had a leg to stand on to get it started,” McCann said. “Now that I am on the city council, I feel like I have a little more credibility to back me.”

Holmes County has a rich history that McCann hopes to capture and preserve through the murals.

“We aren’t just the City of Bonifay. Although we are the county seat, we are Holmes County,” McCann said. “We want to preserve the rich history for the county as a whole – a history that we will remember as we progress forward.”

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the average daily number of drivers on U.S. 79 is at 12,000 motorists. Those passersby will be able to see what the community has to offer.

“These murals bring out the fact that we have talented people living, not just in Bonifay, but in Holmes County,” McCann said. “The beauty on the outside will match the beauty that is inside.”

The newest 10-foot by 50-foot mural will showcase the rodeo but will also feature a cowgirl and a horse with a beautiful mane. These factors will tie into Mane Street Salon, the building it is being painted on.

There are plans for six more murals in various places throughout Bonifay, each of which will hold historical significance. There are plans for interactive paintings as well.

“We will have wings painted in a couple of places as well,” McCann said. “Our hopes are when people get out to take a picture with the wings that they will also walk and visit shops. When they visit the shops, we hope they will make purchases which will stimulate our local economy. The only way we will find success is together.”

Funding for the murals come from various sources such as a partnership with First Federal Bank of Bonifay like the current work.

While McCann is excited for what is next, she doesn’t want to get ahead of things.

“I do not want to get too far in detail on what is coming up because we are still working on funding sources,” she said. “It feels like something is happening here, and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Although Jordan has painted the first two murals she will not be painting them all. The goal is to have them completed by other local artists who want to exhibit their work and help preserve history.

McCann said progress is happening in Bonifay and in the county.

“We want to progress with intentional and meaningful growth,” McCann said. “But we want to do it without forgetting where we came from.”

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