Artists put beautiful picture on underpass

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By Stephen Thomas

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Drivers passing underneath the CSX Railroad overpass along Joe B. Hall Avenue will now see more than two stone walls with warning stripes.


    The Visual Artists of Bullitt County (VABC) transformed the overpass walls into two murals with works of art featuring the county.

    The VABC, in partnership with the Bullitt County Arts Council (BCAC), planned the project for three years, receiving approval from CSX.

    The south wall includes a landscape scene, similar to the rolling knobs familiar to the Bullitt County scenery.

    Shepherdsville resident Michele Anderson designed the scene. Her efforts were selected as the winner of a contest hosted by the BCAC.

    “I was thinking about the Salt River area between the two viaducts,” Anderson said. “Originally there was more river emphasis.”

    A graphic designer, Anderson created her idea by taking photos of the underpass and then designing her artistic ideas onto the wall via computer.

    “I did it on the computer, then they did it on the wall,” she said. “They did a nice job. I’m very proud and honored to have it up there.”

    The north side project features three medallions representing Bullitt County’s history. The project was designed by VABC president Carole Powell.

    According to Powell, the first medallion features a salt kettle, representing the county’s early importance on the salt making industry.

    The second medallion honors Alexander Scott Bullitt, Kentucky’s first lieutenant governor and the county’s namesake.

    Medallion three features the county’s outline with a buffalo. The three medallions are tied together with a blue ribbon.

    Powell called the underpass creations a community effort, thanking the Bullitt County Works Department for assistance and the Shepherdsville Police for shutting down the road during various work intervals.

    She also thanked Lowe’s for supplies and Nu Way Rental for the use of two hydraulic lifts. Inmates from the Bullitt County Detention Center helped to prep the walls and add final touches.

    “It has been a community effort and it’s just wonderful,” Powell said.

    Along with CSX assistance, the murals were also funded in part through the Grigsby Trust. BCAC president Randy Matlow said Grigsby funding was available to artists over age 50. According to Powell, most of the artists were over 60.

    “(The BCAC) hopes to make the county prettier than ever,” said Matlow. “I think the murals are wonderful.”

    “We are not necessarily seniors,” Powell said. “We want artists of all ages for our group.”

    Matlow said BCAC hopes to assist VABC in painting another overpass along Highway 480 in Shepherdsville. He anticipated the organization raising more funds and internally funding the project.

    VABC members assisting in the mural project include Linda Cheek, Lola Foley, Frances Garner, Patsy Karr, Rebecca Mach, Sharon Milliner, Carole Powell and Steve Taylor.