MIAMI, Okla. – An Ottawa County art class is learning about Miami’s heroes.

Students in the “Art for Fun” classes learned about 1969 Heisman Trophy Winner Steve Owens, Human Rights champion Fern Holland, film editor Carol Littleton, renowned artist Charles Banks Wilson, and legendary rocker Steve Gains.

“We taught the children why murals were important to a community,” said Jeanette Hughes, artist.  

Murals help bring joy, unity, and express different messages, she said.

“The children were very creative and loved what they did,” Hughes said.

The murals are located in the Miami Art Park across from the Coleman Theater. 

Steve Owens was a football standout at the University of Oklahoma. He played professional football for the Detroit Lions, becoming the first Lion to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

Fern Holland was an American lawyer and an activist. She died on March 9, 2004, while working for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Carol Littleton is a film editor. Her work includes Body Heat, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and The Big Chill.

Charles Banks Wilson is an artist. His artworks are housed in New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Washington’s Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery and the Smithsonian. Works by Wilson are a prominent feature of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Wilson died May 2, 2013.

Steve Gains was a guitarist and backing vocalist with the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1976 until his death in an airplane crash. Gains and his sister, Cassie Gaines died on October 20, 1977.