A Mary Persons Spanish teacher, with the help of her friends and neighbors, has painted a beautiful new mural in downtown Smarr that brings color and vitality to the small village. Katie Rowland on Monday night celebrated with those friends and family the completion of the mural, which took 150 hours to paint. Rowland said she did a canvas painting of Smarr two years ago and her father, District 2 county commissioner Eddie Rowland, kept telling her it would be a great mural for Smarr. Jonathan Banks, who owns the apartment at Smarr’s main intersection of Hwy. 41, Rumble Road, and Evans Road, gave the Rowlands permission to paint the mural on the side of his brick building, which measures 24 feet by 10 feet. Katie Rowland said the wall is so large she had to amend her painting so it would fill the space, and even projected the amended artwork on the building to make sure it was big enough. And as soon as school was out for the summer, Rowland went to work with help from friends and family. It was not easy. After three days of work, she said they cried because they had so much work left to do. But they learned to bribe helping artists with food to help paint, and Katie said it actually became fun mixing up the colors and giving people different jobs. The mural shows Rowland’s church, Mt. Zion UMC, as well as Kell Joseph’s taxidermy business, Bone Heads, and the railroad, farmhouses, pasture land and hay bales that make up Smarr’s landscape. With the result looking so good, Rowland was asked if she would consider doing another mural. “Under the right circumstances,” sighed an exhausted Rowland, “but not this summer! It’s a job and I couldn’t have done it without all the help.”