Paris will soon have another Instagram-worthy location next to Paris Community Garden thanks to Health4U’s collaboration with local artist and longtime teacher Lena Spencer.
Spencer said she came up with several mural ideas to look over to get a better idea of the vision and style Health4U was looking for and expects to have it completed by Sept. 20, 2021, “depending on volunteers and weather conditions.”
“Dr. Amanda Green had an idea to make the mural a cool place for an Instagram photo spot,” Spencer said. “She had several great ideas and the butterfly was one of them. I tried to reflect the colors of the garden and the energy of our wonderful community.”
Paris/Lamar County Health District Medical Director Amanda Green said the organization chose to use Spencer because “she’s a person who is really dedicated to the community.”
Spencer said she’s witnessed the hard work in creating the Paris Community Garden.
“That and the group effort in painting the mural are examples of how we can come together to accomplish great things,” Spencer said. “Public art is free and something we can enjoy and share with others which is what it has in common with the garden.”
Having known Spencer for several years – “she taught my children art when she was at North Lamar” – Green said she knew Spencer was talented and filled with great energy.
“She’s wonderful – a great artist and a great person,” Green said. “She’s been at PJC doing a great job and has donated a lot of time and energy. She’s been in charge of painting the trash bins along the Trail de Paris.”
Green said the organization loves the design Spencer has created.
“The building kind of lends itself to almost an abstract look,” Green said. “She had some good abstract ideas, but we really wanted it to be something that invited selfies – to get people to come to the garden.”
Green said the goal is to integrate the Paris Community Garden in pictures as well, which “(Spencer’s) done a really great job at integrating the two, but also having what’s going to be a beautiful butterfly that people can is it the garden, take pictures, then help spread the word of our community garden.”
Green said, with the help of Spencer’s talent, they hope the mural will bring awareness to the community garden – ultimately bring awareness to living a healthy lifestyle.
“We hope it’s a kind of hub like the porch at the library of places people can go and enjoy being outside in Paris,” Green said. “But also to help bring awareness to a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy, eating fresh fruits and vegetables. We also do Walk with a Doc starting off at the garden – encouraging physical activity. The United Way of Lamar County has reading in the garden – encouraging literacy.”
Paris’ Health4U offers free health classes at Paris/Lamar County Health Department for free. Anyone wishing to take part in a free class, simply call the health department at 903-785-4561 and ask for the Health4U representative.