Downtown Batesville is the site of signature Coca-Cola mural, nearly three stories high on the side of Big’s Restaurant on Main Street. Its completion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.
“It’s been really awesome to have this mark in history….I’ve always remembered this mural from my childhood. It’s such a big part of Batesville,” say Morgun Henson and Victoria Hutcheson. They are two of a handful of Lyon College art students that made the brick wall painting possible.
“The bricks are pretty thick, and the mortar between them is pretty deep. So that’s been a journey to try to figure out,” adds Hutcheson. “Fellow artists working together collaboratively in a group has been really different, because we’ve all done solo art.”
The mural puts a fresh face on art from the 1940’s. 270 hours were invested in painting it, roughly, in the span of a month.
“This may be in fact the oldest preserved mural from Coca Cola with Sprite boy,” says Dustyn Bork, who is a Lyon College art teacher, and lead on the Coca Cola Mural art project. “So, we’re really proud of that, we wanted to restore it. The best tool for us was really, really small two-inch brushes. To make this happen.”
The mural is a four-thousand-dollar project, commissioned by Coca-Cola. But tourism director for the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Kyle Christopher says its value to the community far exceeds that in helping to set a new standard for future work.
“People are looking for places to take pictures, and we hope that this is yet another destination, and it’s really the icing on the cake of a revitalized downtown Batesville,” says Christopher. “A lot of people look and see a coca cola mural, but I look and see a perfect example of when partners come together to make something much bigger than themselves happen.”
[The Coca-Cola project] paves the way for additional large-scale ventures, long after college graduation.