Artist Revitalizes a Mississippi Main Street

Artist Revitalizes a Mississippi Main Street

By: Lauren Walser, National Trust For Historic Preservation

There’s a renaissance happening in the small town of Water Valley, Miss., as you read in the Spring 2014 issue of Preservation magazine.

Long-vacant storefronts are now teeming with life. Residents and visitors spend afternoons and evenings on Main Street, grabbing a sandwich at The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery, a new market and eatery started by a local couple in a 140-year-old brick building; snacking on ice cream at Turnage Drug Store, a 109-year-old family-owned Water Valley institution; or perusing the latest shows at Bozarts Gallery or Yalo Studio, two new galleries in storefronts dating to the 1840s and 1910, respectively.

But it’s not just the newly renovated buildings that have brought vigor to Water Valley. A major part of the town’s revival comes from the beautiful, hand-painted signs lining Main Street, welcoming shoppers to stores and creating a unique visual identity for the town.

Artist Bill Warren hand paints the lettering on a window at The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery.

Artist Bill Warren hand paints the lettering on a window at The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery.

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