NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The artistic sites of downtown Austin are no match for the artistic side Nacogdoches is now portraying. On Friday, a mural, showcasing the beauty of Nacogdoches history, was officially welcomed into the city by the Chamber of Commerce.
The mural, located on the north side wall of the Russian River apartments on Pecan and Austin Street, is the idea of three former Stephen F. Austin University students. The mural was created in August of 2013 as a way to get people more interested in art and to bring a more artistic side to the city.
Shannon Solly, the owner of the apartment complex, said the mural project is always going to be ongoing, but for now, it is completed.
"It's been about two years that we've been working on it and we finally got to the point of what we're calling complete. There's always fine tuning to do as part of our financial philosophy and investing philosophy," Solly said. "We put two percent of our profits back into the property no matter what and so it will always be ongoing."
Since the mural was painted, Solly said he has seen an increase in residents at his apartment complex.
"Our goal is to get 95 percent students living here again. It used to be a wonderful student property, but over the years, it had fallen into disarray and our goal was to get it back to a student property and a desired location for people to live," Solly said. "It took two years, but finally this year, the numbers were---we had 96 percent students living here, so we met our goal of 95 percent."
Despite the increase in tenants, Solly said the whole reason for the creative mural was to help bring more art to the city.
"The story behind the mural is we want art to be part of everyday life. So many times we can only see art in a museum or if it is in a building and we don't get to enjoy it on a daily basis," Solly said. "So, we hired [students] to do--to bring art to the masses so anytime anybody wanted to go see art they can come over here and take a look at it."