Grant gets new look started for Spencer ballpark’s dugouts
By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó Thanks to a grant from the Rowan County Arts Council and the efforts of several volunteers, the Eighth Street Ballpark is getting a new look.
Murals designed by Marty Lineberger, a Spencer resident and art teacher with the Kannapolis City Schools, are being painted on the sides of dugouts at the Little League park.
Teen volunteers are doing much of the work, and a grant for the project was secured by Beth Nance, also a Spencer resident and a driving force behind a number of community projects.
“It’s been fantastic except for the rain,” Nance said Wednesday afternoon as she watched a few volunteers with paint brushes. “I found the money, but without Marty’s creativity, none of this would have happened.”
The $1,000 that Nance secured for the project is a community arts grant sponsored by the Rowan County Arts Council and Rowan Investment Co. The money is used for the paint as well as to pay Lineberger an honorarium for his help.
There are three murals as part of the project:
– A mural of the Spencer Little League logo,
– A mural of a bench with a group of Little Leaguers keeping an eye on the action and,
– A mural instructing everyone within eyesight to, “Play ball!”
The artists also adorned the side of one of the buildings with paintings of a Cheerwine and a bag of popcorn.
Kia Thao, 18, a recent graduate of North Rowan High School, and her sister, Chia Thao, 16, a rising senior, are two of the volunteers who are helping paint the murals. Kia said she plans to be an art teacher and thought that helping with the murals would be good experience. She said she learned of the project when Nance came to the school and spoke to her art class.
Lineberger said that over the years he’s been involved in the creation of a number of murals.
“I’ve done a couple here, there and everywhere,” he said.
Lineberger said the ballpark’s neighbors and coaches have all had good things to say about the murals. “They’ve all had positive comments,” he said. “They seem happy with what we’re doing. They’re very appreciative.”
The work should be finished within a few weeks, then covered with a protective, clear coating.
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Work on the murals is far from complete and anyone in the community who’d like to help is welcomed. Work is usually done on Sundays and Wednesdays. Contact Beth Nance at 704-239-3729 or bethmnance@gmailcom.