Underneath the Robert Redden Footbridge sits one of Rome’s newest murals, joining a number of others that have been popping up around town over the past few years.

“It creates a sense of ownership,” said Emma Wells, Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful program coordinator. “There is a lot of community buy in.”

The two newest murals — the second being just down the path from the first — were painted on Saturday by Berry College freshmen during their annual Freshman First Year Day. The two latest pieces of outdoor artwork depict natural scenes such as leaves and butterflies, both of which can be found near Bridgepoint Plaza.

The murals have had a positive impact on the community as well the KRFB program, Wells said. The works serve as landmarks along the trails system, while also showcasing local artists. Wells said studies show that murals help deter graffiti and can cover up existing tags.

The outdoor art was designed by Brad Adams, an art professor at Berry who has designed a few murals around town, according to Wells. Adams is responsible for the large mural on the other side of the Oostanaula near Heritage Park, the piece in the Rome-Floyd County Library side parking lot as well as the columns at the Rome-Floyd ECO Center.

“(Students) can go back and show their family later on that hey, ‘I painted this flower or bee,’” Wells said. “They can say they had a part in that (mural).”

The murals done by Adams and his crew are not the only ones to have previously appeared around Rome in the past few years. A “We are South Rome” piece was painted by over 20 community members in 2018 and coordinated by Darlington graduate Xaivier Ringer. There is also a painting next to The Foundry Growler Bar, as well as a mural near Ridge Ferry Park depicting river creatures holding up signs saying “Together We Keep our Rivers Alive.”

Wells said the “Rivers Alive” mural has recently become faded and efforts to restore it as well as fill in blank spaces under the bridge are underway. She added KRFB will continue to upkeep existing murals so they don’t become eyesores.

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