Inmate artist creates mural on side of Baker Block Museum

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 04:32 PM.

North Okaloosa Historical Association President Danny Hall said the organization and museum rely on inmate labor from Century for routine grounds work, cleaning and maintenance.

"They are a huge asset to our day-to-day operations and special projects," Hall said. "We could not do without them."

The mural restoration, which is being done by the artist and an inmate assistant, supervised by a Department of Corrections officer, is an outgrowth of the relationship, Spann said.

Community response to the new mural has been positive, with residents patronizing Baker businesses pausing to watch the artist at work, Spann said.

"It's real nice," Josette Phillips said. "I'm glad to see them replacing the painting."

"The mural pulls a lot of people into the museum who want to see what it's all about," Spann said, adding it often attracts tourists passing through Baker from Alabama en route to the beach.

"I'm kind of proud of it," the artist said. "They gave me lots of artistic freedom so I'm adding things like people, the old truck and I'm going to paint an old car in the street."

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