When the walls came down in the spring of 1986 to make room for a parking lot – it also revealed a painting from the past on a brick wall in downtown Salina.
Now the faded mural of Bull Durham’s ‘Bull’ on 7th Street is getting a make over. Artist Erika Nelson was commissioned to research and preserve the piece that dates back to the early 1900’s.
“Luckily Bull Durham Tobacco is one of the most popular brands and a lot of ghost murals have been documented,” the painter from Lucas, Kansas said.
“There’s so much photography out there, that there’s at least enough reference so that once you find the lines that are on the wall you can use historical research to figure out the rest.”
No stranger to big projects, Nelson is the owner of the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things Museum in Lucas and says she was restoring a project at Sharp Performance on Santa Fe when Mike Hoppock approached her with the idea.
Above: Her storefront in Lucas and Nelson working on restoration in Salina.
Hoppock, President of Land Title Services at 136 N. 7th Street had been looking for an artist to repair the historic advertisement on his building. Although working outdoors in the Kansas weather atop scaffolding has its challenges, Nelson says the experience has been very gratifying.
“This ends up being a trigger of, ‘Oh yeah I saw that when it was uncovered and I just always thought it was such a neat part of the history,'” she said.
The comments, questions and streams of feedback from citizens passing by have been a positive push for her to keep painting the past.
“They’re all really happy to see it coming back.”