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Commission – Arkansas Baptist Home for Children, Monticello

commissions, painting, Monticello, Baptist orphanage

Monticello, Arkansas, my hometown, has two children’s’ homes.  The Presbyterian Home is on the southwest part of town and as a child, I passed it many times headed to Green Hill to visit my Mom’s parents.  The Baptist Home is on the north edge of Monticello.  I knew many kids from both and saw them daily at school or athletic practices.

About two years ago, Jerry Morrow, who grew up at the Baptist Home, called and asked if I could do a painting of it, showing all of the main buildings that people would remember from the 1950’s to the ’70’s or so.  I said I thought I could manage it if he had enough photos that would allow me to piece all the buildings together.  The boys’ and girls’ dormitories had been torn down since then and they were the most recognizable buildings beside the main or administrative building.

Unfortunately at the time he called, I was about to have shoulder surgery so I couldn’t really get started for about three months.  And even then my right arm was not very strong.  Eventually I began drawing the Administrative building in the center and started working my way out on both sides.  I did not have a single photo taken from the viewpoint where I would have liked but I was able to finally piece everything together from multiple photos without leaving out too many things (thank you wife with the Photoshop skills).  And, naturally, things get shifted a bit this way or that in the creative process.  Some trees did not make the “cut”’so to speak. 😉 Artistic license at work, haha.

With the buildings finally done, Jerry and I both decided that some “decoration” would be in order.  Between the two of us, several things were added. I added cars from the 50’s and 60’s and a blue bus.  Jerry suggested the pool and basketball courts be added.  Then I added in some kids in the pool and some shooting baskets.  Others walking and talking. Some just messing around.  Just like they would on a summer’s day.

The whole scene is framed by the sign ’Arkansas Baptist Home for Children.  Jerry is intending to have prints done for folks who lived there over the years.  He lives in Fort Smith and will be getting the word out about this excellent project.

Commission, Monticello, Baptist, orphanage

8 thoughts on “Commission – Arkansas Baptist Home for Children, Monticello”

    1. Yes, it is. I have a good friend in Mobile, AL in her late 80’s, whose father was the administrator here when she was growing up.

      1. Rae, My siblings and I grew up in the Home. Maybe we know your friend’s father, the administrator.? Could you give that information to me? Thank you either way.

  1. I have to say this has been great,My husband Malcolm Hendrix,has told me many stories of his growing up there,some good some not.

  2. Jerry had the prints at one of the reunions and we purchased some. They are great! and take you back instantly. Thank you & Jerry very much

  3. My father was the recreational manager at the Arkansas Baptist Home for many years, until they got new socal worker who said my father spent to much time on his days of opening the dym for so the children could play in the gym instead of having to go outside. The new Social Worker told my father that he loved the children to much and if he couldn’t turn his fillings down he would have to leave the Arkansas Baptist Home. So that was the reason my father ( Roy Lee Fielder ). Left ABH. and moved back to Fort Worth, Texas to help Lena Pope, at the Lena Pope Home. He was raised at the old home. before the new one was built. At the New Home he was over the Sinor Boys and he recationational directior

  4. My Father was raised at the old Lena Pope Home before the new Home was built, Miss Pope asked Ms Pope asked my father to help at the new building as over the Senior Boys and recationational Directior at the new home.

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