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Get the area’s big picture with airport mural

The jet set arriving in Southeast Texas can get a preview to the fun that awaits them. Just yards from the deplaning area at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport, a mural incorporates images of Mardi Gras, the oil industry, Lamar University and boating fun.

“That’s a big ol’ gator,” Eddie Cope observed as he perused the mural just hours after installation on Tuesday.

Dwarfed by the image of a pink roseate spoonbill, Cope also pointed out the logo of the South Texas State Fair and crawfish approaching the size of Mini Coopers.

Cope, of Avis/Budget car rental at the airport, said two men came in and made quick work of putting up the artwork. Organizers announced they expected it would take several hours, or the better part of a work day, to fully install the 37- by 16-foot art work. The mural project began in May of this past year with the opening of the new and improved airport terminal which has undergone extensive renovation since Hurricane Rita.

Larry Acker, assistant director of public relations at Lamar University, said the project is a collaborative effort from Lamar, the Beaumont and Port Arthur chambers of commerce, the Beaumont and Port Arthur convention and visitor’s bureaus as well and chambers of commerce from the Mid-County area.

 “The mural depicts all the wonderful things that most people identify with Southeast Texas and the Golden Triangle area as a whole.  It includes the petroleum industry, the ocean, mudbugs, Mardi Gras, festivals, alligators and much more,” Acker said.

Bill Anderson, owner of Eugene Anderson Studios in Sour Lake, painted the original art for the mural. It’s printed on vinyl, like a billboard.

ddoiron@panews.com