The mural “Muses of the Mountains” for the Breathitt High School stage proscenium is complete. This mural hearkens back to the roots of theatre, connects it to modern-day Breathitt County, Kentucky, and pays homage to an older mural that graced the stage of the former high school building.
The theme of the mural is ancient Greek origins of theatre meet the contemporary arts of Breathitt County, Kentucky. Faculty and students were able to provide input for elements of the mural to connect it to Breathitt today.
Stylistically, this mural takes ornamental cues from the motifs and structures of classical Greek and Roman architecture while relating the subject matter to Breathitt County. The painted bas-relief that spans most of the top depicts processions of wild horses and the elk herd for which Breathitt is known. The horse motifs are taken directly from those of the Parthenon Marbles of Athens. The centerpiece is comprised of theatre masks, lyres, and a statuesque mask of the Greek god of Theatre. The motto underneath “All the World’s a Stage…” was voted upon by the community and links this new mural back to the stage mural at the old high school.
The four figures flanking either side of the stage are based on Greco-Roman marble statues representing four of the nine muses of the arts and inspiration. These four are Thalia (Theatre/Comedy), Melpomene (Theatre/Tragedy), Euterpe (Music/Lyric Poetry), and Terpsichore (Dance/Choral Song). Two of them are depicted with contemporary Appalachian instruments voted upon by the community (one holds a mandolin, the other has a mountain dulcimer). They each appear in an arched nook that resembles the night sky.
This was painted in fifteen roughly 4.5' x 5’ sections of Polytab in studio and then permanently installed on site.
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Amie Villiger Harris