Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I attended Shawnee State University from 2001-2005. One of my favorite things to do was walk the floodwall--first along the top of the grassy section and then down to the murals.
Portsmouth is famous for the flood wall murals, which depict area history and important events. The murals are so lifelike, with some good photography skills you could easily state a photo that looks like you're part of the paintings.
The murals were designed by artist Robert Dafford. They were commissioned after a group of citizens thought the flood wall could be more than just slabs of cement. They were right. I love how the murals depict what the flood wall is protecting. On the opposite side, you'll find a wall of painted stars that have been signed by notable figures from the area.
In the photo above, you can see the artist has painted himself into several scenes. I think it's a great way to "sign" this beautiful work of art.
If you're ever in Portsmouth, make sure this is one of your stops. Though several other river cities have similar murals (Point Pleasant, WV has some, for example) this will always be my favorite.