What started out as a community-wide art project of painting 20 fiberglass mules soon turned into more of a demand for the brightly-decorated creatures than the Walker County Arts Alliance had anticipated.
The arts council decided to cap the number of mules at 50 after quickly obtaining sponsorships for 40 of the mules, and thus the 50-Mule Team Public Art Project began, said Beth Sargent with the WCAA. Local companies, schools and individuals are paying to sponsor the painting of the mules and several of the mules are already on display throughout Walker County. Once each mule is completed, the arts council plans to have an interactive map posted on their website to show visitors where each colorful creature is located.
Much like the annual Mule Day in Marion County, this local art project pays homage to the hard-working animals who labored on farms and mines for decades, helping Alabamians make a living from the land.