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Approved Mural Design

Pex Theatre Mural Project

The Pex Theatre is a small, historic theatre in Downtown Eatonton. The theatre was purchased by the Eatonton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in 2019. The DDA is currently in the process of restoring the theatre to its former glory.


The Pex Theatre was part of cinematic history when the world-premiere of the movie “The Color Purple” took place at the theatre in 1985. Eatonton rolled out the red carpet for author and Eatonton native Alice Walker, Academy-Award winner Whoopie Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and more for this very special night.


The DDA’s renovation plans include an updated movie theater as well as a Black History Museum to showcase the great history of Eatonton. In 2022, the stucco on the façade was replaced, and the new digital marquee was installed.


Eatonton Main Street sought proposals for a public art mural project for the brick south-facing wall along the side of the Pex Theatre. Artists were invited to submit a proposal for this exciting opportunity to provide a highly visible, large-scale work of art.

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About the Artist: Valarie Aranda

As an artist and educator, I have over 30 years of experience working on mural projects. I started working on murals after graduating from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. Soon after graduating, I began working on mural projects assisting artists on commissions in Phoenix, Arizona. The next phase of my mural experience involved community-based project where I worked with youth to create murals in the inner city of San Diego. Having moved to Milledgeville in 2002, I was hired at Georgia College to create a painting program involving community-based art through murals. My experience includes large scale projects in San Antonio, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee where I designed, created, and involved volunteers in my projects. Having led large scale mural projects as well as having assisted many professional artists, I have the skills necessary to take on a project of this scale.


Additionally, my work involves multiple collaborations with various organizations in San Antonio, Memphis, and Georgia. Since 2015 I have been involved with the Eatonton community where art faculty were invited to collaborate with downtown Eatonton by displaying artwork in local storefronts to create a cultural and artistic environment celebrating the arts. Working with various community members in Eatonton and organizations such as the Georgia Writers Museum, Putnam County High School, and Eatonton Mainstreet, and local artists, I have collaborated to create multiple artworks that have involved numerous hours with students and town hall meetings to engage community member in the process of creating a sense of place through art. Projects I have worked on include three crosswalk murals organized by Mainstreet Eatonton, located in the downtown area, as well as the Famous Author’s mural, a collaboration involving Putnam County High School Art students and artist Gail Vail. Additionally, painting students from my classes at Georgia College painted alongside Putnam County High School students, the Putnam County history mural located at Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails site.


I have additional extensive mural experience, and these experiences provide me with the ability to create and produce an artistic quality public mural that can be appreciated by the Eatonton community and visitors alike.

Examples of Valarie Aranda's Work

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