A Portrait Of Middle America
USA, Kentucky, Paducah, 2014

The Ohio river surrounded by a flood wall with historical murals - calm and slow at that time, a grand view of Columbia Theatre, the Broadway Street with few people walking, cosy streets and houses, gardens, various studios and galleries of artists - efforts to redeem and to re-create the area continue.

Lower Town of Paducah was the first to pull itself up by its bootstraps. That incentive continues today with the Artist Relocation Program, which encourages artists to buy city-owned properties in decaying areas and renovate them into homes. They call them houses for one dollar. It has become a national model for using arts for economic development. Art is essential in our life, and in Paducah people use art to renovate the city and to create a new life.

Robert Dafford was one of the Artist in Residence in Paducah. He and his associates have made the murals on the Flood Wall into a community masterpiece. The Murals Committee, in consultation with Robert and company, reviews each project and approves each project only if the material is available, historically relevant, accurate, and compatible with trompe l'oeil.

A picture on a Flood Wall in Paducah showing a tradition that the Ambassadors meet the touring riverboats and escort their passengers on tours of the city. The group is easily recognised, as they wear red jackets.