PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Nederland

June 30, 2014

Murals make a splash in Nederland

NEDERLAND —  Iconic images from Nederland and the area’s history adorn a painting of a giant Texas flag on the side of a new business in Nederland.

Jay Khan and the Malik family purchased the former site of  Dickerson's Exxon Service Station at the corner of Twin City Highway and Nederland Avenue and are in the process of transforming the building into a convenience store and gas station called Pricewise. The business is set to open some time in mid-July.

Khan saw Houston artist Gary Holman painting in Galveston and hired him to create not only the mural on the Nederland Avenue side of the building but ones on the front of the building and inside.

“We want to pay tribute to the town,” Khan said of the iconic images.

The business owner has had numerous people stop by to take photos both inside and out, he added.

Inside Holman created one panel featuring the image of Tex Ritter, Dickerson Automotives, a drive-in restaurant, Port Arthur native Janis Joplin, vintage scenes and automobiles and scenes from the nearby waterway.

And there may be more murals coming to Nederland courtesy of a collaboration between the City of Nederland, Nederland Chamber of Commerce and the Nederland Economic Development Corporation.

Kay DeCuir, executive director of the NEDC, said there are preliminary plans to add several murals to the outside of some buildings on Boston Avenue and Nederland Avenue as well as FM 365 and U.S. 69.

“We think this will be a good way to bring in tourism,” DeCuir said.

The first few walls and buildings have been chosen and owners have given permission. The next step is to design the themes — “we don’t want a lot of the same things,” she said.

“Each wall will focus on a theme so we can really show the heritage of Nederland and that’s what we’re going for,” she added.

DeCuir has contacted Holman and is waiting on a quote for his work. “If we can afford him, he could start our (NEDC’s chosen wall on Boston Avenue) in the next seven to 10 days.”

There is also the idea of making it a competition between art students at Lamar State College-Port Arthur and other local colleges and universities. The Nederland entities would provide the materials and the chosen artist would provide the work as a sort of community service.

Jinni Akins, president and CEO of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce, is excited about the idea.

“Each wall will have a theme that will go back to the heritage of Nederland,” Akins said. “”This is just another way to bring tourist to Nederland.”

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque agrees.

“The goal is not only to enhance the area with the murals but hopefully create something that will make people want to come to town,” Duque said.

DeCuir said persons who want to volunteer their artistic ability can call the NEDC at 729-1020.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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