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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Library Unveils Children's Mural

Appalachian America is one of eight individual panels in the mural at the Bristol Public Library.
Appalachian America is one of eight individual panels in the mural at the Bristol Public Library.
Additional photos below »

November 25, 2008

Children visiting the Bristol Public Library now find themselves on a trip around the world, surrounded by "Cultural Narrative," a fanciful mural created by local artist D.R. Mullins.

The mural focuses on the major continents of the world. Individual international panels include Appalachian America, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Middle East, Africa, East Asia and the Arctic. Iconic images were selected to maintain a literary narrative that is educational as well as visually engaging. Notable landmarks include the Ibn Tulun mosque of the Middle East, Mount Fuji in East Asia, and Machu Picchu in South America.

Music is the central theme for Appalachian America. Mullins believes that, through music, communities can communicate and share stories of the past, while providing a strong sense of history that helps shape the future. This is all set in a landscape of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

Library Director Jud Barry says, "This addition to the Children's Department captures the eye of anyone, young or old. The quality of D.R.'s work sold us on his design. His characters are engaging and filled with personality, suggestive of the best illustrators in children's literature. During his presentation, he emphasized that he was going to have scenes packed with details, pictured through the eyes of a child. Even creatures in a creek will have personality."

In each vibrant scene, youth will find something new and identifiable each time they view the art. Mullins says, "When I was a kid, I was fascinated by artwork with hidden images — where the more you looked, the more you'd find. I hope the mural will stimulate a child's imagination and creativity, but most of all, leave them happy and inspired."

Mullins describes his approach as "a stylized animated quality, steeped in realism." One of the challenges he faced was incorporating five "old-timey school clocks" into the design. The clocks are labeled with international time zones. Mullins took that concept, expanded it and incorporated it into his design.

You are encouraged to stop by the Bristol Public Library Children's Department to see this work of art in full scale. For more information, call 276-645-8780 or visit

"Cultural Narrative," a fanciful mural created by D.R. Mullins, spotlights the major continents around the world, including Africa and ...

Asia ...

Australia ...

Europe ...

Latin America ...

and the Middle East.