ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — A mural paying tribute to Fort Rucker could be done as early as next week, according to the city of Enterprise.
Artist Wes Hardin and his apprentice Alain Finuff have worked for around two weeks, drawing and painting the mural on the building across the street from First United Methodist Church.
The mural will be 22 feet high and 110 feet wide, featuring images from the post’s origins as Camp Rucker and its present-day status as the Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
“I am grateful to be a part of this project, and telling this story,” Hardin said, acknowledging the vital role of Fort Rucker and Army aviation in the Wiregrass. “When Camp Rucker came here, there was an explosion of other developments. The post is great for our local economy, and we benefit from the presence of the military men and women in our communities.”
Hardin worked with Army Aviation Museum Curator Robert “Bob” Mitchell and former Museum Foundation Manager Leslie Edens to help with the research needed for the project. One object that caught Hardin’s attention were “wonderful old black and white postcards” that provided a look into how service members lived like in the past.
One of the postcard designs made it into the mural.
As for the mural’s faces, these were partially based on the bronze statues that greet visitors just inside the entrance of the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Rucker.
“The faces are amazing,” said Enterprise Tourism Director Tammy Doerer, who managed the project. “Wes has captured the essence of these statues, bringing the bronze figures to life on the wall downtown.”
“The detailed design is time-consuming, but we want to make sure this is as close to a photograph as possible,” Hardin explained. “This is realism. We’re painting this very photorealistic because it’s important to our soldiers and aviators that we are as accurate. These are the people and the things that they care about, and we care about them too.”
Hardin used acrylic paint formulated for outdoor exteriors, ensuring the painting’s longevity endures through all types of weather conditions over time.
Doerer said the mural will add a stunning visual for those visiting downtown Enterprise.
The building itself, now owned by resident Marla Peoples, will also feature a new business, Simplicity, as well as another business that will be coming to downtown soon.