ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — If you’ve passed through Downtown Athens recently, you may have noticed an artist hard at work.
The owners of Market & Monroe are on a mission to recreate a 1900s classic-style mural on the side of their building. This comes after the event venue’s restoration efforts wrapped up in May 2023.
“In the middle of the restoration, we started peeling back some of the paint on the outside. All of a sudden…we saw red. The first thing that comes to mind is that may have been a coke sign,” said Danny Whitfield.
Owners Danny and Sandra Whitfield contacted the Coca-Cola Company which funds preservation projects like this around the U.S.
“The picture is dated back to the 40s-50s maybe, so it just kind of goes with the restoration of the building even though the building dates back further than that. It’s going to be enjoyed by a lot of people,” added Sandra Whitfield.
Artist Brian Tull was commissioned by Huntsville Coca-Cola, and has been tasked with recreating the mural.
“They showed me historical photos of the coke mural on the wall and then I proposed re-doing that…not restoring it but recreating it,” said Tull. “I also proposed this female figure which was a real Coca-Cola ad with the six-pack of coke…and they went for it, Huntsville Coca-Cola approved it!”
Tull says feedback from those passing by has meant the world to him.
“It’s always inspirational. When you’re getting beat down by the sun and the elements and you’re a little bit exhausted…and someone walks by and says that’s looking great/awesome…I think it just lifts you up. I think if you can inspire one person…if one person sees your work, maybe that’ll carry on to good things,” said Tull.
This work of art is something the Whitfield’s hope the community will enjoy.
“We were both born in Athens. We dated in high school and got married. We’re both retired now, and we just want to give back to the town that raised us,” said Danny Whitfield.
The Whitfields anticipate the mural will be completed by next week.
Market & Monroe’s holiday calendar is quickly filling up. To check availability and pricing, owners say you can email them at: email@example.com