WEST JEFFERSON — A new mural called "Poppies" was finished on the Regency Properties building in West Jefferson after two weeks of effort from local artist Raney Rogers.
According to Rogers, Regency owner Andrea Witherspoon had a specific image for the mural in mind, wanting a colorful floral scene. Rogers began the mural in early October, finishing it on Oct. 17.
"I don't think that a mural should try to fit in with other murals," Rogers said. "I think this mural stands alone in its subject matter and its vibrancy, which will be very welcoming in the winter."
The new poppies mural replaced a classic mural from artist Jack Young called "History of Ashe Through the Ages," which was completed in 1996.
The mural depicted historical aspects of Ashe County transitioning between the four seasons, spanning the entire length of the wall at Regency Properties. However, it was painted over on July 18.
"I knew Jack Young very well while he was alive, and it was a wonderful mural," Rogers said. "I was just happy to paint the poppies."
Several locals were upset after "History of Ashe Through the Ages" was painted over, because the mural had been a part of West Jefferson for so long.
"I did hear people talking about that," Rogers said. "We always hate to lose murals, and I was victim of the loss of a mural as well."
Rogers previously painted a mural depicting a sunset in West Jefferson, which was commissioned by the Ashe County Arts Council. Rogers' mural was painted over by a tree scene from R.T. Morgan.
"I totally empathize with those artists whose work gets covered up," Rogers said. "So who better to paint the new mural than me?"