The University of Arkansas Texarkana Fine Arts Club students began painting the mural entitled “Pathway of Hope” for the Salvation Army of Texarkana in January of this year. Major David Feeser, Salvation Army Commander, asked the club to create a mural that expressed the concept behind that Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative. “I gave the club a broad concept of what I envisioned for the mural,” said Feeser. “The completed project turned out exactly how I imagined and, at the same time, totally different than I imagined. The students did a magnificent job of portraying the cycle of poverty and vulnerability being broken and turned into a brighter future.”
The Pathway of Hope initiative provides individualized services to families with children who desire to take action to break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability that repeats generation after generation. It seeks to address the root causes of poverty in addition to The Army’s history of compassionate serving. By helping families overcome challenges like unemployment, unstable housing, and lack of education, we can lead families down a path toward increased stability and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.
“We saw this project as a way to combine art and public service, allowing students to express themselves creatively, and to contribute to the Texarkana community,” said Chris Bachers, UAHT Fine Arts Club sponsor. “I am proud of the students’ desire to give back to the community and how they collaborated to make this project a reality.”
Lacey Hines, UAHT Fine Arts Club member stated, “I am proud of all my fellow club members, we put over eighty hours of work into the mural.” “Hopefully it will inspire others for many years to come.” When asked what the painting meant to him, club member Edward Hernandez said, “The painting represents a collection of thoughts on how I see the world.”
“Creativity is definitely at work in the mural,” said Jolane Cook, U of A Texarkana Executive Dean. “The concept behind the painting is a pathway to hope, but many pieces of it are open to interpretation. There are also many elements present in the art that show us how education is a great pathway out of poverty, including the ‘bridge to the future’ incorporated in the mural. I am extremely proud of these students for their diligence in completing this project for such a good cause.”
Students who worked on the mural include Katie Shupe, Edward Hernandez, Raven Penwell, Hallee Chandler, Amber Gavin, and Lacy Hines.