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Artwork underway for Parkersburg Flood Wall Mural

Envisioning the completion of the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project.
Envisioning the completion of the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project.(Parkersburg Art Center)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 1:51 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The painting of the Parkersburg Flood Wall mural is now underway. The project, which was officially launched back in April, will eventually turn more than 1,000 feet of floodwall space into a huge panorama and tourist attraction.

The wall was coated with a product called Thoroseal, which helps to seal the concrete and create a porous surface that the paint will adhere to, giving the mural more durability. The sealing process was completed last month by Emma Romanowski and Edward Escandon, and now artist Christopher Santer is beginning the artwork.

Santer got started on Sunday, and will be in town for a month, working on the 160-foot portion of the flood wall behind the City Park amphitheater.

“People should stop by...it’s a big undertaking,” said Jessie Siefert, managing director and education director at the Parkersburg Art Center and one of the project’s organizers.

Eventually, another section of the floodwall will be transformed into a giant piece of sheet music, carrying the first few notes and words (“Almost heaven, West Virginia”) from John Denver’s song, “Country Roads.”

Farther down along the floodwall, the hills and mountains will morph into painted representations of the girders and piers of Parkersburg’s historic Sixth Street train trestle, which dates to the Civil War. Eventually, the spaces between each of the piers will be turned into scenes of well-known places, events or people in the history of Parkersburg.

Additional information about the project can be found on Facebook or on its website.

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