VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Local artist Sam Welty will paint another military tribute mural at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
The new mural will be visible from the 1900 block of Pacific Avenue.
“It is now time for the phoenix to rise from the ashes," Welty told News 3,
Welty says it is expected to be finished on Memorial Day and the prep work is almost finish and the painting will begin soon.
Welty painted the original mural in 2002 to honor the military following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was covered up in November 2016. Management of the Howard Johnson at the Oceanfront told News 3 they painted over the mural because it was peeling and water began seeping into the building.
Because of the lose, Welty said he really saw how much of an impact the mural had.
“It was rough at first but what actually happened was it became really clear what that mural meant to the community, to the communities involvement and to the connection to the men and women of the United States military," he said.
When the mural was originally painted over, News 3 set up a meeting between Welty and Matthew West, who runs a management company working with the hotel. On Dec. 1,West agreed to bring Welty on board to repaint the mural once all leak issues were taken care of at the hotel.
Welty said after that meeting and presenting hotel management with a plan, he got sparse communication.
The new artwork will be one for the people.
“The old one it was a military tribute but it was just the navy. This times it’s gonna be about the people. We’re gonna include all five branches of the military plus first responders," Welty said.
For more information and updates on the mural, click here.