Local artist paints history on shirts, towels

Published 4:44 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

Members of Auburn University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) traveled to Selma Friday visiting art studios and galleries and getting a taste of the Queen City’s vibrant art scene.

The visitors traveled by bus to Selma and visited the Selma Art Guild Gallery and got a brief presentation at ArtsRevive – after the presentation, OLLI members had two hours to traverse the artistic landscape of the city and stop in at any of the five galleries and studios stationed in the city’s Art District.

OLLI members checked in at internationally-known artist and storyteller Frank Lucas’ Tin Man Studio, paid a visit to Southland Studio, Look and Gallery 905 and were able to get their own unique piece of Selma to carry home upon a visit to Restotonica.

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David Hurlbut, who owns the Restotonica at the Harmony Club, a refuge for bizarre antiques and bits of architectural treasures, was using old Selma water meters as a template for printing atop t-shirts and towels provided by the educational tourists.

The meters were crafted by Peacock Iron Works, which existed in the city before the Civil War and crafted cannons during the war, and are originals to the city.

Hurlbut laid the visitors’ shirts and towels atop the iron signs and dragged a rolling brush across the top, engraining the Selma water meter letters onto the cloth.

Hurlbut started his project as part of the regular Saturday Art Walks and has seen interest in the pieces grow since he first started crafting them.

“People all over know Selma,” Hurlbut said. “It’s kind of like a collector’s piece.”