Destiny Words Mural


Title: “Destiny Words”
2014 by Scott Freeman and Eric Holmlund
Acrylic on brick masonry. Approx 90′ x 20′
Additional artists: Sandy Beegle, Mollie Freeman, Aubrey Grieser, Margie Gray, Sabrina Peterson, Rene Prinsloo, Marcus Robinson

How the mural came to be:

In 2013, Aubrey Grieser of Love Your Community (LYC) and Jenny Hodge of Together for Hope were looking for ways to help revitalize Lake Providence, Louisiana. LYC founder John Rae told them about “The Values Project” by Peter Hassen, which debuted in California in 2011.

The Values Project is a public art project that connects communities by stenciling “value” words, like Integrity and Compassion in parking spaces throughout a city.

This gave Aubrey and Jenny the idea of creating values-oriented arts projects, and eventually led to the idea of creating a mural. After some preliminary scouting of possible locations, they found Reverend Michael Owens (New Hope Baptist Church), who owns the building at the corner of Highway 65 and Lake Street, a main gateway into the city. Reverend Michael readily agreed to the mural project. (Note: the mural is on private property and not government sponsored or affiliated)

Resurrection Fellowship church (Loveland, Colorado) got behind the project by sending teams to work on the mural, with the local support of Providence Church.

Eric Holmlund, an artist from Resurrection Fellowship, came up with the crossword concept and mock-up design of the mural. In July 2013 he led a team mostly comprised of dance team members who made repairs to the wall, primed it, and began work on the crossword elements.

In November 2013, he returned with a group of deacons and pastors from the church who finished the lettering within the crossword puzzle. In April 2014, he brought a team of volunteer artists which included professional artists Scott Freeman and Mollie Freeman. Scott provided valuable artistic direction and leadership including the graphic design and final layout of the graphical elements.

By the grace of God (miraculous weather among other blessings), the team along with some local volunteers were able to complete the remainder of the mural in just six days.

Meaning and purpose of the mural:

The mural serves several purposes including beautifying downtown Lake Providence, encouraging its residents, welcoming visitors, and declaring positive attributes that are important to the community.

The following twelve value words are integrated with the name “Lake Providence”: Hope, Worth, Change, Love, Vision, Unity, Respect, Impact, Believe, Forgive, Courage, and Serve.

The images depict the natural beauty of the area, and the people of the community. While in the past Lake Providence was sometimes labeled by terms such as racial segregation, poverty, and economic inequality; the mural “calls out the gold” in the community by emphasizing its love, racial unity, and prosperity.

You may notice that the sky in the mural progresses from dark to light, originating with a “prophetic” blast of a trumpet and ending with the declaration: “We are History Makers”. The creators of the mural believe that God will speak through the words and artwork that you see on the wall. The overarching message is love, and it’s the love of Jesus Christ that inspired us to create it. The bottom line is that we (the artists and volunteers) love the people of Lake Providence and that’s why we created the mural for them.

Is the sun rising or setting? It all depends on which side of the lake you’re standing on. The sun is rising upon Lake Providence with hope and new life, while setting upon the darker parts of its history.

Elements of the mural:

Before any planning of the mural design began, Aubrey talked to many members of the community who provided input on potential subjects. The majority of the graphical elements of the mural came from that initial list. Additionally, the team of artists from Resurrection Fellowship collaborated to refine, tweak, and pare down the subjects into a composition that would be impactful, aesthetically pleasing, and feasible to paint on the brick wall.

Elements of the mural

1) Jazz trumpet player trumpet player
2) Prophetic blast of the trumpet blast of the trumpet
3) Crawfish Crawfish
4) Pair of Mallard Ducks Ducks
5) Black and White hands forming a heart Hands forming a heart
6) Magnolias (Louisiana State Flower) Magnolias
7) Alligator Alligator
8) Largemouth Bass
Lake Providence offers great opportunities for this hard-fighting game fish.
Largemouth Bass
9) Green Tree Frog (Louisiana State Amphibian) Green Tree Frog
10) Woman with Pecan Pie Woman with Pecan Pie
11) Young Boy Young Boy
12) Buck Deer Buck Deer
13) Bald Cypress Trees
The cypress tree trunks are painted upon vertical pillars which are an architectural feature of the building.
Bald Cypress Trees
14) Church Church
15) Homecoming Queens
Inspired by Frededreia “DeDe” Willis and Lauren Frantom who rode on the 4th of July Parade float in 2013.
Homecoming Queens
16) Cotton Cotton
17) Catfish trumpet player
18) Grain Elevator Grain Elevator
19) Tractor Tractor
20) Football Football
21) Blues Guitar Player Blues Guitar Player
22) Brown Pelican (Louisiana State Bird) Brown Pelican
23) “Unity bridge” across Lake Providence
Inspired in part by Frededreia Willis’ dream of building a bridge across the lake, as well as a vision that was given to one of the artists.
Unity bridge
24) Lake Providence (the lake) the lake
25) Young Girl Fishing Young Girl Fishing

Educational exercises for children and other community members:

Special thanks to local historian Larry Brock for this great idea.

For children:

1) Count the animals and what they represent. (Pelican, catfish, bass, deer, frog, alligator, ducks, crawfish)
2) Which animals have you seen before?
3) Draw your own picture of one of these animals.
4) Count the people and what they represent. (fishing girl, blues guitar player, jazz trumpet player, homecoming queens, lady with a pie, young boy, plus the heart-hands)
5) Count the natural things on the mural. (Lake, sun, all the animals, 8 cypress tree trunks)
6) Count the man-made things on the mural. (Fishing pole, bridge, trumpet, church, flag, crowns & clothes, tractor, grain elevators, football, guitar, trumpet, pie pan)
7) Count the words on the mural. (12 value words in the crossword, plus “Lake Providence”, plus “We Are History Makers”)
8) How many words can you make up from the letters in “Lake Providence”?

For older children, teens, and adults:

1) Write an essay titled: “What the mural means to me”.
2) Write a letter to the local newspaper with your opinion about the mural.
3) What do the words on the mural mean to you?
4) Design a mural of your own.

Gallery of Pictures of the Creation of the Mural:

progression of mural

Feel free to leave your comments about the mural below.

10 thoughts on “Destiny Words Mural

  1. Mona L. Hayden

    I am so impressed with this project that I want to show it off to everyone! So, thanks to Larry Brock,we are sharing this info in the May issue of Louisiana Road Trips Magazine.

    Congratulations on a great job and I hope other towns follow your lead.

  2. Ernie

    Beautiful, I like the colors, the words, and especially the Trumpet player on the
    left side. He reminds me of Louis Armstrong and his great playing, he grew up
    in New Orleans. Also, the Church and the American flag.

  3. Terry

    We have a lot of murals in the city I work in many of which are very beautifully done. This ranks right up there with any of them. Very creative, colorful and inspiring. The artists who painted it did a great job. The message it communicates is positive and uplifting. Job well done!

  4. Pingback: Value Added: A Mural For Lake Providence | (Re)Purposeful Painter

  5. Jonty

    Great stuff Eric, you and your lovely family continually do good, promote good, and good feelings towards others. It’s great to see the work your able to do boosting others and giving real hope and inspiration. Long may your great work continue, love praise and good wishes to you and your whole family Eric


    This is such an awesome mural. I have to roll the windows down and almost stop and hang out in front of it before I get to the stop sign. Because my grand kids start shouting DeDe and Lauren. They just love it. Thank you Rez for taking your presious time to do this for Lake Providence. Ya’ll are wonderful people.

  7. David Robichaux Sr

    Great work of you and your team of artists and church members. I will believe with you in faith that things will change for this beautiful town of my home state of Louisiana. I intend to visit there one of these days and check out the community myself one day. I still have a business idea to share with the mayor one day.

  8. Nickie Black

    I arrived here in July 2013, from Cali. As you may know in the LA Basin we have thousands of beautiful and meaningful murals. So for this one to be so touching to me it had to be special. The artwork is not only extremely well done, but each word and picture perfectly in align with healing the world and old wounds that every decent citizen wants to put in the past. Not forgotten since they are lessons learned but memorialized for all to see the new way of forgiveness and love, that we truly are all created equal and beautiful with our own special gifts. I so love the animals depicted, especially the endangered pelicans. My favorite words forgiveness and love are represented by such beautiful art that truly speak of the perfection of words melded perfectly with symbols. For myself most touching in the symbolic black and white hands making a heart, it says more than years of effort between loving people who know the truth we are simply humans with differences that are far more attractive to each other than the old dead regime of hatred because our eye color is different. God sees this little mural and smiles. Those responsible for this mural are not only artists but amazing and loving human beings that are simply gifted. I hope I see more of your murals the world over. God Bless Lake Providence and these muralists.


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