- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - About 2,000 gallons of paint, plus thousands of volunteers are being gathered for a massive project that could put the Galveston Seawall in the record books as a work of art.

Titled the See-Wall Mural Restoration Project, the event starts Wednesday and may take several months. The aim is to put a fresh coat of paint on the mural design created 18 years ago along 2.5 miles of the seawall.

“Last time, 14,000 people participated - 9,500 of them were kids,” said Peter Davis, chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Department and designer of the original mural. “It really helped bring a diverse group of people together.

“We’re expecting the refurbishment to create just as big a splash, especially as it will be in conjunction with Galveston’s anniversary.”

The Galveston County Daily News (https://bit.ly/1roYg02 ) reports coordinating the project is artist Karen Acton with Galveston surfer and artist Chip Bynum supervising volunteers and preparation work.

“This is a great opportunity to break down the barriers and show that we can work together toward a common goal,” said Acton.

Acton, a New York native with a dream to live by a beach, came to the island 10 years ago. She often combs the shore for items to use in crafting small lighthouses.

“Every time I would go to beach and see that concrete wall and I kept saying to myself, ‘what a shame, people worked so hard on that and it’s just disappearing,’” she said. So Acton connected with Davis and the restoration project began.

The original mural has scenes with marine life, birds and images of Galveston attractions. All that design will be restored in the project with fresh paint. Some embellishments may be added here and there, and the logo for Galveston’s 175th anniversary will be painted in at several points along the wall.

The original mural would have been listed in the Guinness World Records book, but no category existed at that time for the world’s longest mural. The category has since been created, and project workers hope Galveston will soon hold that title.

Partnering with the workers are Galveston’s Commission of the Arts, the Galveston Park Board and Sherwin Williams Paint.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District has approved the restoration. The paint helps seal and protect the concrete seawall.

Acton has been overwhelmed with the offers of help from volunteers. More than 1,000 Ball High School students will be pitching in the week of May 12.

“This is going to happen,” she said. “I just keep saying to myself - ‘We’re going to make this happen.’”


Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, https://www.galvnews.com

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