Downtown Tunnels Get a Makeover With Abilene’s First 3D Mural by International Artist
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Get ready for a delicious change of scenery around downtown Abilene! The Abilene Council for Cultural Affairs (ACAC) will illuminate two pedestrian tunnels next Thursday that connect the Cultural District to the SoDA district. There is a brilliant twist, however. These lights will illuminate the 3D mural of a hovering dragon in the tunnel behind the T&P Depot!
In an ACAC statement, the board said the project took three years of planning, approval and fundraising before it could finally come to fruition.
In partnership with the City of Abilene, ACAC will be responsible for lighting tunnels owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. In a tunnel, international artist Kurt Wenner was commissioned to create the city’s only 3D mural. This mural was designed so people can pose on the back of a dragon, and it looks like they’re riding it! You can also post on a castle tower, making it look like you are walking into city of tales.
The photos above, provided by the Abilene Council of Cultural Affairs, show (left) Steve Butman in the lighted tunnel and (right) Nella in front of the unlit mural.
Funding was provided in part by private donations and a grant from the Cultural District of the Texas Commission on the Arts.
ACTA said:The purpose of the new lighting and dragon mural was to better connect the Abilene Cultural District north of the train tracks with the SoDA (South Downtown Abilene) district south of the train tracks and to use the arts as a tool for growth economic..”
The ACAC statement continued:
“With continued growth in both neighborhoods, this latest addition of lighting is expected to increase downtown visitor enjoyment and ease of accessibility,” said Lynn Barnett, who helped promote the city’s position in as the official Storybook Capital of America® through numerous projects and events. . ACAC has invested $6 million in the Storybook Capital downtown theme.
Barnett also cited City Manager Robert Hanna as instrumental in the three-year tunnel project. Other key players included were Tim Smith, founder of SoDA and owner of Downtown, and the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.
Behind the T&P building, starting at 2:00 p.m. on January 26, you can walk through the lighted tunnel and see the amazing 3D art.
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