Amherst County recently honored a local artist for her mural paying tribute to Monacan Indian Nation culture on county-owned property.
Esther Candari, an Amherst County resident pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts at Liberty University, recently drew the mural design on the Goodwin Street building that houses several county offices next to the Amherst courthouse. She only sought reimbursement for the costs of the paint from the county, according to county officials.
“Her time and talent was provided at no cost to the county,” a staff report to the Amherst County Board of Supervisors states. “Ms. Candari’s prodigious talent is obvious by her work. The town and county have been graced with a beautiful piece of property for all to enjoy.”
The board honored Candari with a resolution during its Sept. 17 meeting. The mural is entitled “Mani’ na Eika, “ or “Water is Life,” in the Monacan language, according to a news release from the county.
“It was a real pleasure to work with the Monacan tribe on this project,” Candari said at the meeting. “I originally come from Hawaii, so [indigenous peoples and issues] are always dear to my heart.”
She interviewed Monacan tribe members and appreciated the rich culture, she said. Having the image displayed on a building where some tribe members recall turbulent past experiences is a positive outcome, she added.
“Anything that can be done to help heal that and bring a more cohesive atmosphere to them and the rest of the community is something I take pleasure in,” Candari said.