New mural receives rave reviews at Elizabethton-Carter Co. Public Library

When kids walk into the Elizabethton-Carter Co. Public Library now, they will find an area where they can be transformed from modern day into a realm of imagination where they can find a mother living in a shoe or seeing characters carried away by a flying dragon and much more thanks to a recently unveiled mural completed on the wall in the kids reading area by artist Nash Acuna.
The public got their first glimpse of the mural on Tuesday when the library hosted a drop-in unveiling completed by Acuna's presence and some finger food for the guests.
"I just wanted kids to come in here and feel like they were going somewhere else," Acuna said about the atmosphere she was hoping to create. "They read all these fairy tales or hear people tell them about it but to look at it and hopefully feel like they could walk into the painting was what I was hoping for.
"I put those steps there that are books to help them feel like they could walk into it with lots of little characters at the top so they could explore new things and of course the sculpture of the tree is a little hideout where they can go. Inside, the tree is coated like Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors book."
Acuna said the project took about four months to complete with three months dedicated to completing the mural and another month to complete the tree sculpture.
She said the length of time was due to her working full time and having to work on the project during off hours from work.
The project took an entire set of mural paint along with latex paint.
"It took a gallon of latex paint to mix the colors because I mix my own colors and there is three layers of seal coat so if the kids mark on it, it can be washed off and the coat should protect the mural. The mural should last about 10 years. This is all free hand just from my brain so that is what you are looking at is my brain."
Acuna added that the project came about as a result of some brainstorming that quickly led to work on the mural.
"Ashlee (Williams) and I are always brainstorming because we work together a lot and it was something that we talked about," Acuna said. "It kind of grew and grew and grew so I did a proposal for them. She presented it to the board and they accepted it so we moved forward with it pretty quickly."
The artist recalled her love of art developing at a young age when her mother discovered her drawing on the wall under her bed. It was during a time when no one believed that one could make money doing something such as a painting or mural.
"I always loved art and now that I am an adult and I pursued my love of art, I want kids to see that you can grow up and be an artist, that you can make money, and have a living doing what you love to do," Acuna said.

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