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Artist Sam Welty To Paint A New Mural At The Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Local artist, Sam Welty, has been given the green light to paint a new mural that will span almost an entire block at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

The mural will serve as a tribute to local fallen heroes, including members of all branches of the military and local first responders lost in the line of duty. This is the latest in Welty's series of Great America tribute murals. It will be located on Pacic Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets.

Welty, known for his iconic landmark murals throughout Coastal Virginia and beyond, is grateful for this opportunity to replace his military tribute mural that was recently taken from the community. The lost mural, which depicted local fighter squadrons
lying above the aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, had served as a beacon for locals and tourists at the South End of the Oceanfront before it was painted over last November. Welty states, "The loss of the mural was devastating, not only personally, but for the loss of what it represented to the local community as well."

Looking forward, the focus will be on the positive impact of honoring the men and women of the United States Military and local first responders who have made the ultimate sacrice for our country and the local community. Welty explains, "With the loss of the original mural, and the planning of the new one, it has become clear that this project is too big to be considered simply my own. This tribute mural belongs to the entire community."

The artist has enlisted the help of Virginia Art with Heart, a local 501(c) (3) nonprot, to facilitate community involvement. As the mural is being painted, locals and tourists will be invited to "check in" and share live videos and photos on social media so the entire country can share in the excitement. Long after its completion, the mural will remain a destination for photo and video opportunities for visitors at the Oceanfront.

Virginia Art with Heart will also participate in planning the Mural Dedication ceremony, slated for Saturday, June 10th, at 11am. Admission will be free and open to the public. Professional fundraising organization, CoeConnect, is organizing a Bar Crawl immediately following the ceremony, from noon to 4pm. Bar Crawl admission bracelets will soon be available for purchase.

Lori Dunn, Virginia Art with Heart's Co-Founder and President, says, "With the support of Sam Welty and other local artists and sponsors, we'll be helping to raise money and awareness for about 20 nonprofits that serve the military and local first responders. We are honored to have been chosen to help. It's what we do!"

For more information on how to donate and get involved with this project, visit www.tributemural.com

-- Susan M. Vertullo

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