Local art murals help boost downtown tourism

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MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– Whether it’s a group photo, a selfie, or just an aesthetically pleasing photo, art murals make a great background.

“That is the goal right, to have something to take a selfie in front of, something that can possibly even increase the value of the building people share this information with social media,” Jason Byron Nelson, an artist, said. “It becomes a little hotspot that’s great for the town, the tourist industry, there’s nothing bad about it.”

It’s not all about the likes and shares, murals also bring in beautification and revenue for cities. Tracy Carter, owner of Jac’s Craft Smokehouse said having a mural on his building has turned visitors into customers.

“And that brings people from all over. We’ve seen people come in from Michigan, Washington State, and all over the country just to take a picture in from of that sign,” Carter said.

It’s the Welcome to West Monroe mural in Antique Alley.

“It’s got a little bit of iconic icons on there like the Duck Dynasty people that were here before and then just what our city has to offer, you know our river is right there and that mural just really ties the whole thing in,” Carter said.

Another mural is also gaining attraction in Downtown Monroe. It’s the newest addition by Jason Byron Nelson. He said the goal was to create a piece that shows what the town is all about.

“You know, we are sportsman’s paradise,” Nelson said. “I’m not a big hunter myself, but I identify with that as far as connecting to my heritage, the culture of our area and with that in mind I tried to only use animals from our region.”

With the help of social media, his art will reach more than those who drive by.

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