Scott Allen painted a mural honoring Frances Fortner. Photo courtesy Jarrod Parker/Zenwood Photography
In May 2018, Jackson Academy senior Frances Fortner was headed to graduation rehearsal when she hit a partially covered manhole on Ridgewood Road. Her car flipped, and she later died from her injuries at a local hospital. Her death was a tragedy that brought about more in-depth conversations about how the City handles infrastructure issues, but now, Jacksonians can remember her in another way.
Recently, A Plus Signs and Creative owner Scott Allen painted a mural on the side of Fondren Corner above Fondren Nails in her honor. The mural came out of a pencil-sketched self-portrait. Allen transposed it into an oil painting at a larger scale, and then he and Fortner's mother, Laurilyn Fortner, worked on the design. The mural features her portrait with swirls on the right side of her head, and has Fortner's quote, "For all the pain in the world, there is so much more beauty."
"I hope it brings the family some joy when they see it," Allen says. "It's a way for the community to be able to remember her also in a positive light."