WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCBD)- In downtown Walterboro on the corner of East Washington and North Walter streets lies a hand-painted mural welcoming visitors to the “Front Porch of the Lowcountry.”

The mural is the work of emerging local artist Luke Mixson, a 15-year-old Colleton County native with a passion for creativity.

Luke Mixson (Silhouttes by Luke)

Mixson said he had always loved drawing with a pen and pencil, but in 2018 — at just 11 years old — he discovered he had a knack for a different type of art: silhouettes.

“My great uncle is a silhouette artist and I liked watching him,” Mixson said. “It was really cool so I sat down and tried and it just came to me.”

The history of silhouette art dates back more than two centuries to France when people would commission artists to create portrait images of their loved ones using scissors and paper. The art form was popularized in the United States from the late 1700s until the mid-1800s when the camera was invented.

The process, according to the self-taught teenager, is somewhat simple.

“I’ll just take that picture, look at it, and I’ll just take my pair of scissors and sit down and cut it out,” Mixson said.

At first, creating silhouettes was just a pastime for Mixson, but about three years ago, he launched a Facebook page to solicit artwork. Since then, Mixson estimates he has created hundreds of pieces.

But, perhaps the most widely recognized of Mixson’s work is the aforementioned mural in the heart of Walterboro.

In 2022, Mixson got a phone call from Matt Mardell, the director of the Colleton Museum and Farmer’s Market.

“He reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to be a part of making the mural,” Mixson said.

That same evening, he sat on his own front porch, sketched a couple of designs, and began cutting.

“I kind of took inspiration from hunting a lot, getting to see out in the middle of nowhere all the trees and wildlife and how beautiful it is,” he said. “I wanted to take that and put it into the mural.”

By the next night, the silhouette was ready for the wall.

“We scanned it into a computer and then projected it onto the wall, and then a team of me and Mr. Mardell, Christie Slocum, and a few other volunteers sketched it out and then went back and we all painted it,” he said, noting that the entire process took about a week to complete.

Now, that very mural has been broadcast on millions of television screens across the nation as people tune in to coverage of the Alex Murdaugh double-murder trial.

“I’m very humbled and honored,” Mixson said. “I think it’s really cool that people are able to see what our county is like.”

As for what he hopes people see when they catch a glimpse of his silhouette landscape, Mixson said, “I want people to see the beauty and the wildlife and God’s creations.”