After several years of facing the sun, the mural on the left side of Piggly Wiggly has become faded and in need of touch-ups. Thanks to the Miller family, the mural is getting the makeover it deserves.
Shirley Miller was asked to repair several murals in Manning after she completed the mural on the side of Jefford’s Auto Insurance, but she decided that would make painting more of a full-time job than a hobby. Because Miller wanted to keep painting as a hobby while also helping her community, she agreed to restore one mural. She was told that the mural on the left side of Piggly Wiggly was in the worst condition, so she set out to work on it.
Miller explained her goals with the mural, saying, “We’re just trying to bring it back and restore it. It was very dated and dull. We’re trying to keep it as close as we can to the original.”
The huge mural depicts Francis Marion in a corn field. All the murals in Manning tell a part of Francis Marion’s legendary story, and Miller has volunteered her time and hard work to preserve this part of history.
Miller is no stranger to helping others. She is an RN who provided care for 44 years. She is also a licensed United Methodist pastor. She has never practiced painting professionally, but was happy to help with the project and give back to the community.
Miller said, “I started back painting about three years ago. I hadn’t painted since college before then.”
With help from her husband, her son, Lisa Fuller, and a scissor lift, Miller has been able to make plenty of progress on the mural. Miller said, “We’ve been painting for about four or five weeks off and on, due to the weather. I’m hoping to be finished with it this week.”
Piggly Wiggly has also been a huge help throughout the restoration.
Miller said, “The Piggly Wiggly management have been great. They let us store our scissor lift there, and they let us use their electricity to power the lift. They let us use some of their bags for our paint brushes. They’ve been very helpful with everything.”
When describing her experience with the mural so far, Miller said, “I’ve enjoyed it, and I’m happy to put my own take on it. I’m trying to brighten it up quite a bit.”
She hopes to spend more time in the future exploring more crafts and outlets of creativity, such as quilting.
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