Downtown Lufkin mural needs more than a touch-up

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's only a short-term fix for a downtown Lufkin mural damaged by high winds and unstable plaster work.

An artist visits from Oklahoma to repair his work in Cotton Square, but says the whole mural is in danger.

With each stroke, Lance Hunter tries to repair the damage to the mural.

"It's an expectation of a project that is outdoors. It's going to be exposed to conditions and weather and such," said Hunter.

He painted the Cotton Square staple 20 years ago as an SFA grad student.

Main Street Lufkin recently called Hunter to see about repairing a tear on the front of the mural's train.

"Back in March and April when we had some high winds that came through and did some damage," said Kathi White, Main Street Lufkin Board President.

Hunter has painted four other murals in downtown Lufkin and they're all at least 10 years old, but they've all aged better then the one that needs repairing. The difference, Hunter says, is the plaster work that goes on before he ever starts painting was done on this one by volunteers, rather than professionals.

"It was wonderful that they volunteered their time and a lot of hard work to do it," said Hunter, "but the plaster work has some issues and of course your mural is on top of the plaster work and it can't do anything but go when the plaster goes."

At this point, the artwork needs more than a touch-up.

"The best thing to do would be to replace all the plaster, the repairs are kind of a temporary fix and because the way it was originally fixed, it's going to keep being a problem," said Hunter.

Main Street would have to raise more than $30,000 to cover the cost.

"The fact that it's so expensive to get this redone, at this point he's going to continue, he's going to make some needed repairs and we're going to go from there. We're going to try to do some fundraisers, get the community involved," said White.

Hunter continues fixing the original piece, knowing each time his brush touches the canvas it's only a short-term solution. @@

If you're interested in donating to the project, contact Main Street Lufkin at city hall.

 Copyright 2011 KTRE. All Rights Reserved.