Mentone moves towards building cultural center
June 10, 2016
Southern Torch (3842 articles)
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Mentone moves towards building cultural center

Featured image: The architect’s rendering of the planned Mentone Arts and Cultural Center


By Tyler Pruett

tyler@southerntorch.com

MENTONE, Ala.— The idea of a museum devoted to Mentone art and culture has been a dream of it’s residents for the last 30 years, but recently it’s becoming more of a reality.

The business plan for the proposed “Mentone Arts and Cultural Center” states that, “the primary purpose for the Mentone Arts and Cultural Center is to provide art and music education to the residents and visitors to the Mentone area.”

Mentone Cultural Center

The site of the future cultural center. The building will greet travelers as they enter Mentone from Georgia traveling on U.S. Highway 117.

Ray Padgett, President of the Mentone Area Preservation Association (MAPA), also serves as the president on the board for the cultural center. He sat down with the Southern Torch earlier this week to give an update on the project and lay out his vision for the center.

“We started seriously talking about the project three years ago, and have been working on getting it done for the last two,” Padgett said. “So far it’s been the most positive response project I’ve ever worked on.”

The cultural center will be located on U.S. Highway 117 as you enter the city limits if traveling from Georgia. The donated property is right across from the rock “Mentone” sign.

“This project is funded not only by contributions, but also donated time to do all the necessary work in making this thing happen,” Padgett said.

“Two architects donated their time in helping us design the structure. Also, every member of the board that’s worked so hard to make this happen receives no pay for their work,” Padgett explained.

“We even have a world renowned bronze sculptor, Carl McClesky, who is going to create a life-size bronze sculpture of Sequoyah for the center. Most of his work costs over $10,000,” said Padgett.

The planned cultural center could also feature a Native American pottery museum. Padgett also wants the building to double as a storm shelter.

“Most community storm shelters that are built are never for anything else. This will allow us to get a dual usage from the building,” Padgett said.

Padgett and the people of Mentone hope that the new center will become a hub for all their talented local artists. He envisions people traveling for miles to take advantage of learning from Mentone’s most talented artists.

“Mentone has a unique mix of both talented musicians and artists. This will create a space for them to share their talents,” said Padgett.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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