SFA student brings Nacogdoches' rich history to life via Austin St. mural

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Blank brick walls have a certain appeal to an art student at Stephen F Austin State University. The muralist is using one to illustrate a Nacogdoches timeline. East Texas News met the artist and his fellow artisans today on the corner of Pecan and E. Austin.

When muralist Daniel Baugh is up against a brick wall it means his creativity is not blocked, but flowing.

"You kinda get the eye for it," Baugh said. "You start staring at walls every day."

A brick wall on the side of Russian River Apartments caught the artist's eye. It's where viewers will learn the past has given a gift to the future in Nacogdoches, beginning with legendary Chief Caddo.

"Giving the  'Winds of Change' to the future," Baugh said. "And we're trying to paint a very updated, historically accurate cityscape of Nacogdoches. An undeniable Nacogdoches skyline."

Some of the landmarks visible in Baugh's mural include the Zion Hill Baptist Church and Lone Star Feed's neon sign.

"Extremely eye-catching. Really, really colorful," Baugh said. "We're gonna use almost a really broad spectrum of color."

Spray paint and exterior house paint are used. The unconventional texture will come in handy for at least one mural section.

"We're putting the red brick road into this too," Baugh said. "The old streets of Nacogdoches."

The project is physical.

Artist Levi Smith says it's like mixing athletics with art.

"Usually when you draw, especially if you're using an easel, you want to be about two to three feet back anyways, just so you get your proportions right and everything, and with this one, we got to run across a busy street and take a step back and get it all in," Smith said.

Daniel and the other artists invite passers-by to stop and visit and watch the art in progress. But you better come soon.

"I think we're going to try to get this done in the next week, so we'll be here every day trying to get this done," Baugh said.

The "Winds of Change" is the young artists' gift to their college town. The experience is shaping their future too. Street graffiti kept the artists busy as youngsters.

This is Baugh's second mural for the Nacogdoches apartment developers. The first one was pro bono. Payment was the experience. The mural Baugh is working on now comes with a professional contract.

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