Columbus Library unveils Greetings from Polk County murals

Published 11:54 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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South Carolina artist showcases Polk County’s spirit and heritage


COLUMBUS—The Columbus Library now features two new murals commemorating Polk County, painted by a South Carolina artist. 

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The library’s brand new front desk sits facing the mural which depicts the message Greetings from Polk County, with notable characteristics from the area in each letter.

Artist Maria DeFelice of Columbia, S.C., depicted the mural with the P representing the equestrian spirit of the area, the O showing Pearson’s Falls, the L portraying Saluda’s railroad and the K showing the historical Polk County Courthouse. The mural also features a dogwood to represent the North Carolina State flower.

Around the corner of the mural, DeFelice also painted a panorama of Hogback Mountain, with approximate locations of towns and local mountain elevations.

“The mural upstairs in Polk County Library was inspired by vintage postcards. We wanted to highlight iconic scenes and landmarks from Polk County which you see inside the four letters of the word,” said DeFelice. “Wrapping around the corner towards the elevator you’ll see the peaks of some of the foothills in the county!”

DeFelice has been painting murals since 2012 and spent five years in Abu Dhabi painting murals across the country there. Now she mainly paints murals in the southeastern United States but occasionally travels elsewhere to paint. DeFelice is self-taught and also paints in watercolor and acrylic.

In 2021, DeFelice completed the mural downstairs in the library’s children’s area, which has local flowers, foliage and animals including the cardinal, North Carolinas’s state bird. 

“[The mural is] filled with plants and animals native to the local area,” DeFelice said. “The scale is enlarged to make the viewers feel as if they are part of nature as they explore.”

Work began on the murals on August 4, and was finished two days later.

Columbus Library features new murals depicting Polk County landmarks and local mountain elevations. (Photo by Grant Langston)