Artist creates massive portrait of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter at Freedom Park

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ATLANTA - A larger-than-life mural commemorating the life and legacy of former first lady Rosalynn Carter is now on full display at Freedom Park.

The Earthworks mural created by artist Stan Herd and a team of creatives depicts both Mrs. Carter and former President Jimmy Carter using natural materials like grass, earth, and more.

"It made sense to do them together in a loving embrace. You can see from the smiles on their faces they were like children together," Herd said. "They worked together as a couple in love, and also in work for the United States. And, quite frankly, the world."

The mural sits at the east end of John Lewis Freedom Parkway, blocks from the Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

"Putting their portraits here at the end of their lives near the Carter Center, near this red Georgia soil, was just what made perfect sense to us," Herd explained.

Herd and his team had been working with the city of Atlanta and the Carter family on the tribute for the last few months and says his art director was applying the finishing touches when they got the news that Rosalynn Carter had passed away.

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"Our art is like a frozen moment," Kyra Roesle, Herd's Art Director, explained. "Just stay here and try to think about this person and think about what it means to do the right thing."

"When people come up, and they talk to us about the image, it gives us an opportunity to reinforce the legacy of this incredibly important person to human rights," she added.

Herd had previously worked with the city to create a massive art tribute to civil rights leader and former Georgia Sen. John Lewis and poet Maya Angelou.

"We're trying to remind people of the lives of these folks that have lived well and done well for all of us," Herd said.

Carter died Sunday after living with dementia and suffering many months of declining health, the Carter Center announced over the weekend. The statement said she "died peacefully, with family by her side" at 2:10 p.m. at her rural Georgia home in Plains.

"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," the former president said in the statement. "She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

While the natural materials will fade away in a few months, the artists hope it will help Rosalynn's memory live on in hearts and minds of all throughout the state.

"I want to always promote the things about Americanism that I'm very proud of which are people like Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter," Roesle said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.