Scott Joplin Texarkana Mural Restoration Project Underway

By Ian Holubiak | Jul 28, 2015 10:43 AM EDT
Mural honoring ragtime composer Scott Joplin, who attended the Orr School in Texarkana, Arkansas. (Photo : Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

A true American pioneer of popular music--and a Texarkana native--Scott Joplin has been featured for decades on a fading mural on West 3rd and Main St in the city. Now, officials say the mural at the intersection will be getting a much-needed facelift.

The mural, which sports Joplin's likeness and namesake, has been a centerpiece of downtown Texarkana for over 30 years. In 1984, the mural was painted on the side of a downtown business to honor the American hero and the Father of Ragtime.

According to KSLA, Joplin's great niece Laerma White, painted the commemorative first stroke to refresh the mural tribute and commented:

"It is a gift from God to be able to play music like he did and it is a gift from God to be able to be recognized and even though he passed on now, he is still being recognized for that gift. I am so thankful for that."

Its also been noted that the new look is part of a project sponsored by Texarkana Arts and Historic District that will cost between $10,000 and $12,000.

Scott Joplin was a Texarkanian native born in 1867 and coined some of the time's biggest hits, ushering in an era of blues and rock the predated the likes of Robert Johnson and Muddy Water.  Some of his well-known works include "Treemonisha," "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer.  Mr. Joplin died in 1917.

Currently, the artist leading the restoration venture is Arthur Pletcher, who says it will take a minimum of four weeks to complete the work.

In the meantime, listen to some ragtime and check out a Joplin tune that is taught in schools nationwide, "The Entertainer."

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