Mirinda Reynolds Honors the Fallen with Second Downtown Mural

by | Dec 31, 2015 | Around Town, Arts and Entertainment

Story and photos by Susan Larson

Mirinda Reynolds’ second downtown Fredericksburg mural will be anchored with a date, like her first one.

“The Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 was a pivotal moment in the Civil War,” Reynolds said. “More than 17,000 soldiers died right here, from the river up to Marye’s Heights.  This mural is a way to honor them.”

Reynolds painted the date — 1862 — on Monday, and has been working throughout her week of spring break.  She teaches art at Fredericksburg Academy.  It’s there she made the connection that garnered the building wall on which she is painting.  “Mr. Stevens is the parent of Chip, one of the students I teach at Fredericksburg Academy,” Reynolds said.

“I’ve had a lot of offers of people wanting to paint here,” Charles Stevens, Jr., said.  It was the connection with his son and his son’s school that made the difference.

Reynolds and Stevens discussed ideas back and forth.  “I showed him a photo I’d taken in 2012 at River Front Park of a young boy re-enactor dressed beautifully as a Civil War drummer boy,” Reynolds said.  “I knew at the time I took that picture I was going to someday do something with it.  It was THE photo.”

Mirinda Reynolds’ mural 1728.

Reynolds first mural is anchored with the date 1728, the year the City of Fredericksburg was officially founded by a charter from King George II and named for his son Frederick, Prince of Wales.  The 1728 mural is at 104 William St., where Bike Works is located.

The 1862 mural is being painting on a building owned by Stevens at 909 Sophia St.  “My father had a plumbing business here for 40 years, and my grandfather had a plumbing business before that,” Stevens said.  The upstairs is rented.  The bottom floor 1,400 square-feet is currently for rent.

Mirinda talking with Charles and Chip on Monday, April 21, 2014.

Stevens’ son Chip ( Charles E. Stevens, III — little Chip) is modeling for the portrait of the drummer boy.  He’s a fourth grader at Fredericksburg Academy.  “I was not able to track down the original re-enactor, so I’m using Chip, with his father’s permission,” Reynolds said.  Chip is posing and Reynolds will use her photograph to copy the costume.

With help from the Archives, Reynolds located a hand-written condolence letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a mother who lost at least four sons in the Civil War.  “Everything about the letter was so beautiful, I decided to recreate a portion of it under the date,” Reynolds said.

A copy of a condolence letter from President Abraham Lincoln.

It will read:  “… only the memory and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.  Yours very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln.”

Whatever work is left after spring break, Reynolds said she will finish in the summer.

Charles Stevens believes the mural will be appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

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