Metamorphosis, Friends of Deckers Creek Mural
Backstory and Context
This mural, entitled "Metamorphosis," represents the transformation of Deckers Creek, a stream that eventually empties into the Monongahela River. The mural is located along the Deckers Creek Rail Trail and adjacent to the Deckers Creek Outdoor Learning Park. The watershed suffers from abandoned mine drainage, which leaches from improperly-sealed coal mines and creates an aquatic environment too acidic and high in metals to support life. Deckers Creek, which meanders under a bridge at this section of the Rail Trail and behind the Outdoor Learning Park, appears a bright red-orange color due to the abandoned mine drainage pollution.
Friends of Deckers Creek, a nonprofit organization based in Morgantown, is dedicated to restoring its namesake waterway to healthy conditions. In addition to remediation and education programs, Friends of Deckers Creek also uses art to spread its message. In 2002, Debora Palmer worked with children during BOPARC's summer Arts in the Park program to design the mural, along with the assistance of Amanda Pitzer. While other works, like the mural under the Don Knotts Boulevard bridge and the All Hands on Deckers mural, show how the organization is coming together to save the stream, the Metamorphosis mural is a more abstracted interpretation of the changes that have occurred and the work that still needs to be done. The orange color resembles the abandoned mine drainage, the harmful impact reflected within the wooden mosaic sculptures. The blue section depicts the freedom and beauty allowed when water is cleaned up, animals can fly free. The figures of children are shown morphing into butterflies.
Purpura, Holly. Executive Director, Friends of Deckers Creek. Email, July 26, 2018.
Palmer, Deborah. Founding Director and Artist, Arts in the Park. Phone conversation, July 30, 2018.
Friends of Deckers Creek