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Local artists create a greeting as you enter Downtown Panama City

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 8:45 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Entering into Downtown Panama City you’ll see a freshly painted wall on the side of Ocean Oriental Market, a project that was made possible through a group effort from many organizations in Downtown Panama City.

“It takes a village to get to where we are going and what we would love to see is just a very vibrant, welcoming city. That makes people not only want to come and visit but makes people want to live here,” Bay Arts Alliance Executive Director Jayson Kretzer said.

The wall will feature creations from eight local artists, something Kretzer says was a priority.

“We thought it was important that the welcome wall showcased some of our local talents and show that we are very diverse in our creativity,” said Kretzer.

Kretzer also tells us Hurricane Michael gave Downtown Panama City a blank canvas to work with.

“Through the positive side, it allowed us to rebuild and remake the city in the way we wanted,” Kretzer said.

Kretzer says the welcome wall and other murals in the downtown region are just the beginning of what city leaders have planned for the area.

“There has been a surge of people who say they want to see color. We want to show the world that a storm can’t knock us down, COVID can’t know us down. We are going to keep coming back like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly,” Kretzer said.

Local artist Christon Anderson who has some of his art featured on the welcome wall tells us he is excited to see the lively and creative direction the area is headed in.

“I think it is awesome. Things are going to get a lot prettier especially post-storm. Things were looking pretty drab in some areas, so to beautify it to me it’s cool,” Anderson said.

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