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The Midas touch

By Staff
MOSAIC HORSE n Dr. Keith Everett, a Meridian ophthalmologist, creates a mosaic design for his carousel horse by cutting patterns out of aluminum cans and gluing them to the surface. Everett is one of several local artists participating in the public art project "Around Town Carousels Abound." Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Dec. 5, 2001
Local artists Greg Cartmell and Keith Everett admit decorating full-size carousel horses is fun, but they say it's not as easy as it looks.
Cartmell's horse, completely covered in gold leaf, is scheduled to be permanently placed on display today at City Hall. Everett's horse, decorated with recycled aluminum soft drink cans, is not yet finished.
Both are part of a public art project that will place carousel horses throughout the city. Cartmell's horse is sponsored by Meyer &Rosenbaum, which paid $2,500 for the horse, its installation and a plaque.
The project, formally known as "Around Town Carousels Abound," was spearheaded by Cartmell's wife, Debbie Martin, and her friend, Jamie Cater, as a way to expose the public to art and promote the city as a tourist attraction.
Miniature versions of the carousel horses will be decorated by artists and celebrities. They will be auctioned in the spring as a fund-raiser for Hope Village for Children, a charitable home for abused and neglected children.
Cartmell primarily uses oils to paint landscapes of traditional Mississippi scenes and portraits. Cartmell, a gilder for many years, said gold leafing the carousel horse seemed to be the natural thing to do.
Everett, a Meridian ophthalmologist, has about a third left of his horse to decorate. He only has time to work on it at night in his home.
Everett is using the recycled aluminum soft drink cans to create a mosaic pattern on his horse; he is binding the cans to the horse with acrylic gel. Everett doesn't have a title for his horse yet.
Everett's horse is sponsored by Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and will be placed at the plant.
Even though Everett mainly works with watercolors, he has used cans for his art before he once built a table with Coca-Cola cans. But unlike a table, the horse has no flat surface.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at