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      Community art project enlivens local parks

      The Birmingham Museum of Art is heading two special community art projects. Communities United will take place April 13th at Smithfield Estates Park in Pratt City Alabama. It brings together students and residents of different ages, backgrounds, and regions to create public art for local parks. Participants will complete two community art projects, one for Smithfield Estates Park and another for Shields Conference Center at W.C. Patton Park.

      Two bare walls on buildings from the mining era in Smithfield Estates Park, will serve as a canvas for community murals. Mrs. Ellen Spencer, the neighborhood president, says, "Art will not only enhance the beauty of the park, but also the serenity and overall experience of our visitors."

      Students from University of Alabama at Birmingham's Greek community will join drawing students from Jefferson State Community College, students from Daniel Payne Middle School's after school care program, and residents of Smithfield Estate's subdivisions to create the murals.

      Communities United will also provide panels to be displayed at Shields Conference Center in W.C. Patton Park. Special needs students from Jackson-Olin High School, Carver High School, and Woodlawn High School will paint the panels.

      Birmingham Museum of Art's artist-in-residence Toby Richards has coordinated Communities United, says hopes the art will instill a sense of pride and hope. He says "The art we create on April 13 will be enjoyed by visitors of the parks today and for many generations to come."

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