By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Friday's heat kept many people inside, but one group braved the weather for work and a good cause.
Richard Harrison raised more than $6,500 from local organizations to paint a mural on VFW Post 247's wall.
"It brings the art community together and showcases a lot of different people," he said.
Harrison, who owns A Midsummer's Mural, said he wanted to spruce up the area near Turner Park because the outsides of many businesses were rundown.
"I like paintings that stretch as far as the eye can see."
He proposed painting 60-by-19 foot mural as a way to show appreciation to veterans, but also bring attraction to Leavenworth Street, to the Veterans of Foreign Affairs and Leavenworth Neighborhood Association and got approval.
"That means we'll be in the spotlight again," said Kenneth McDonald.
McDonald served in The Vietnam War and one of the chef's at VFW Post 247, located near Turner Blvd. and Leavenworth.
"I just thank God that we got a lot of people that still remember and still keep us in their thoughts. I love that," he said.
With the money Harrison raised, he was able to hire a team of subcontractors who shared his passion.
"Just to help out in the neighborhood, you know beautify the neighborhood. There's a lot of walls that need some loving," said artist, Mike Giron.
The goal is to turn the street into a "drive-by gallery"—make it known for art appreciation.
"We think it would be very neat to have a place where you drive and you see mural, mural, mural."
Harrison said he raised the money for the mural through the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association, Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, Nebraska Arts Council and Mutual of Omaha Foundation.
He also painted murals at the Avanza Supermarket on 29th and Leavenworth and plans to paint more murals at grocery stores near 35th and Q streets and 15th and Vinton.
Can't find something?