The “Souls of Mobile” mural really began years ago with the businesses, artists, musicians, dreamers, and risk-takers who brought downtown Mobile back to life. Then Ginger Woechan posted new paintings of Mobile in 2018 because she decided to give this city one more try. Rachel Campbell asked her friend Ginger to paint a Mardi Gras scene of downtown as a gift and many of us fell in love with it. Shellie Brooks Teague said that painting could be our next mural and Lucy Gafford and the Mobile Arts Council spent days asking around and looking for the perfect wall. Hayley Maulsby said yes and “The Souls of Mobile” mural found a home at Hayleys Bar. It became exactly what it is supposed to be.
This is Ginger’s first mural and the first words she painted on it were “Coming soon Love and Light.” Every stroke of paint on that wall is filled with Ginger’s love and light. Wearing a pink feather headdress that John and Gary gave her from Bienville Souvenir & Gifts across the street, every day Ginger always stopped her work to talk with curious onlookers or to kids about art. She made a friend with a homeless man and he came up to her late last night and said the next time she sees him, he will have turned his life around.
Love and Light.
I sat across the street from the mural dedication watching people take it in, find themselves or their friends, or places they knew. There was pride and joy and someone said, “this is only in Mobile.”
That is it. These people, businesses, artists, musicians, restaurants, bars, history, and stories are only in Mobile. They are what makes this city special. We could have filled up the whole block with much more. This mural is gratitude for all who love and fight for Mobile and make her a better place to live. The ones who are helping who reach her potential.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday. I hope many more are made at this mural and that each person who looks at it receives a little bit of Ginger’s love and light. The kind you can only get in Mobile.
––Lynn Henderson Oldshoe, Our Southern Souls December 9, 2019