Artist paints murals at local church
BY COREY DAVIS
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
For the past three weeks, a local artist has spent her days jazzing up the children’s section of Englewood United Methodist Church.
Lisa Greene Land, 47, a self-employed artist from Spring Hope, has gotten plenty of praise from church members for her paintings of the “Welcome to Englewood Kid City” paintings she is doing in the hall of the children’s wing of the church. The colorful paintings feature different buildings such as a school, police station, fire station, post office, bakery, general store and a church.
The Rev. Terry Williams, lead pastor of Englewood United Methodist Church, said the idea for the paintings came from the Rev. Savannah Becker, who is the minister of children’s education of the church. He said the artwork so far has been beyond what he imagined.
“It’s crazy good stuff,” Williams said. “When we first started talking about the concept, I didn’t envision anything like that. The work Lisa is doing has surpassed what I originally thought it would be.”
Land was asked to do the paintings by William Dove, 85, a longtime church member, who also is an established and well-known architect in Rocky Mount. Dove learned of Land when he was looking for someone to do a painting in memory of his late wife, Jeanette, who died in October 2016.
The painting that Land did was the famous painting of “Jesus with the Children” that is now on the wall inside the church’s fellowship hall.
“I’ve been practicing architecture for 60 years and I have never met a lady that had this much talent and can do this many things with a paint brush,” Dove said. “I was just overwhelmed when she did the first painting. You can tell with this painting she is working on that Lisa does a great job of capturing a vision in her head and putting it on the wall almost effortlessly.”
Williams said Land’s paintings in the children’s hall is a reflection of the love Jeanette had for the children.
“When kids or families walk into our children’s wing, we really want the children to feel like they’re walking into an Englewood community of acceptance and love,” he said. “We’re hoping Lisa’s artwork will help us convey that message to those families that we’re accepting of all God’s children.”
Land said painting has been something she has been doing for the past 25 years. She added her past painting gigs have included portraits and working as a painter in the construction industry for two years to keep a steady job.
Land also said she painted a room for one of the children of Bobbie Jo Abrams, owner of It’s a Zoo Life, a small, exotic petting zoo in Edgecombe County that’s the subject of an ongoing reality show on the TLC Network.
Land said she spends weekends doing face painting at events for children and has an upcoming event later this month where she will be doing face painting for a back-to-school fundraiser event in Middlesex to help gather school supplies.
Dove said he’s working on trying to help Land find steady employment to showcase her talent.
“I’m always hunting for the next job, and Bill has been a big blessing,” Land said. “This has been benefical for the both of us. There’s nothing with a paint brush that I feel that I can’t do.”