A local muralist is revisiting his previous mural project at 1121 Park St., which highlights Columbia’s past and future. Eric Lake created the mural called ‘Generations” in 1999 and is now in the process of repainting.
‘Generations’ is a 1400+ square foot mural split into five sections, each representing either the past or future of Columbia.
The first section of the mural represents the Indigenous people of the Congaree who watched as Explorer John Lawson came to the land in the 1700’s.
Section two shows the building of the SC State House.
The middle section of the mural shows Union General William Sherman marching through Columbia.
The fourth section presents the textile industry, which was popular in the Columbia area.
The last section presents a hopeful, positive future.
“It alludes to a scripture in Isaiah about beating their swords into plowshares,” said Lake. “It talks about a promise that in the future that people will take implements of war and turn them into something positive, like a plowshare and feeding people.”
The mural was commissioned by Research Planning, Inc., which is the business the mural was painted on. To help with funding, Lake organized a GoFundMe page for donations towards the project. The owners of Research Planning, Inc. have agreed to match funds raised by the campaign.
The now-faded mural is a familiar downtown landmark, but will not be faded for much longer. Lake said he is revisiting the mural to update and redesign the piece.
“I’m back out here because it needed repainting, it was in some rough shape and hopefully I’m a little better 20 years later,” said Lake. “I had to redesign it and update it, make it a little bit more historically factual and the owners of the building here wanted a fresh look.”
Lake attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, GA, and has spent the past 20 years working as an illustrator and art director for a non-profit organization in New York, and said he is excited to return to Columbia to refinish the piece.
“I love all types of mediums, but my first love is painting,” said Lake. “Returning and creating public art in my hometown is a great way to reintroduce my work and learn more about the community.”
Throughout the project, Lake is filming his process and interviews, to be part of a new documentary film called ‘Generations Revisited.’
To learn more about Eric Lake, visit ericlake.art/.