Oceanfront mural artist meets with hotel owners about future

13News Now Chenue Her has the story

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- The owner of the Howard Johnson hotel at the oceanfront and artist Sam Welty had a meeting Thursday about the future of the mural recently painted over.

"We explained to him that it's not just a mural in this town. It's a tribute to the men and women of this town in the military," said Welty.

Welty said the decision to do so came after he was told cracks and leaks in the wall needed to be fixed.

On Thursday, he walked into the hotel lobby hopeful, but unsure, whether owners would accept his $35 thousand proposal.

Whether owner Aaron Patel pays for it all or finds partners, Welty said it doesn't matter as long as he's not solely responsible for the money.

"He has a scheduled appointment with his partners to have that discussion and he said he'd get back to me as soon as that happened," said Welty.

Welty's still paying of debt from the previous mural, so him losing money is not an option. However, he was satisfied with his brief meeting with Patel.

13News Now tried to talk to Patel after the meeting, but he refused to comment and drove off.

The silence wasn't surprising, considering one of his conditions with Welty.

"One of his requests was that the media not be all over this," said Welty.

Welty says their next meeting is scheduled for next month.

Then, he hopes to figure out where the funding will come from.

He said if they're not willing to pay for any of it, he'll paint a mural elsewhere in tribute to the military.


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