By Joe Johnson
A recently-returned U.S. Army vet has channeled his inner struggles to create something of beauty and with a profound message.
Anthony Harris used a wall of the ACC Board of Education building as a canvas on which to paint a vision of hope amid a world of despair.
"Unity is the theme, because the world and our communities are suffering from a lack of natural love towards each other," Harris said. "Our world is full of intelligent human life, yet we haven’t seen that love would be the first step to solving our issues. "
To frame the theme, Harris painted a chain of children linked to each other on a field of green grass, happily dancing together despite any ethnic differences.
Central to the mural's optics is a famous quote about unity from Mahatma Gandhi:
"Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization."
The mural is at the rear of the BOE building and faces where a community garden is planned for this Spring. It's to be for any county employee who wants to plant their own vegetables or flowers.
Harris said the act of creating the mural was therapeutic as he coped with unfortunate baggage from his time in the military.
"I joined the Army, and now I am back here in Athens trying to develop my civilian life," he said. "I’ve struggled with PTSD and other things. "Drawing and painting has helped a ton. I just hope more people will check this mural out and think about the quote."
Harris grew up in Athens and graduated from Clarke Central High School, where his father once taught JROTC after retiring from the Army.