a mural story

Until recently if you were a child being deposed on behalf of the Johnson County prosecutor, you’d walk down a dark, scary, institutional hallway.

“It was a foreboding, ominous walk,” says Brent Lollar, Greenwood resident and Cummins Inc. director of pricing.

Now the walk is a lot brighter, lightened up with a fanciful mural and new lighting, all due to the efforts of a Leadership Johnson County class, the Creative Council, ASSIST Indiana, the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office and Johnson County REMC.

Featuring pastel mountains, wild deer and soaring eagles, the mural bears the phrases “Hall of the Brave” and “You Are Believed,” crucial messages for kids who are facing a daunting event.

The initial planning began in September, with a mission brought to the Leadership Johnson County class members’ attention by ASSIST Indiana, a group that provides help for people affected by trauma; concept meetings began in early October.

After the new lighting was installed, artist Whitney Rader created the work and, with the help of the Creative Council, created a paint-by-number plan. The Leadership Johnson County class project contributors, led by Kimberly Hoffman, grabbed their paintbrushes and filled in. The finishing touches came in early January.

“It was such an interesting intersection of the arts community, local government; it wasn’t any one person or agency,” Lollar says. “It’s there for the benefit of the children, but it was accomplished through the contributions, the talent, the sweat equity of many individuals and organizations.

“I’m humbled to realize this will be seen by kids. To be honest, it goes from, ‘Hey, we have to get a project done’ to something you invest your time and energy and heart in and know that it may make some small difference.”

— Jenny Elig