Wednesday, August 3, 2016

American Flag Mural In Florida Is World's Largest



It was reported today that an American flag mural painted on a marina in Florida was confirmed Tuesday by the Guinness World Records to be the largest flag mural in the world.

The mural, which measures 554 feet by 299 feet -- or just shy of three football fields -- was painted by Robert Wyland, an artist known for his marine paintings, according to Northwest Florida Daily News.

The flag, which was originally painted in 2004 at Legendary Marina in Destin, Fla., near Eglin Air Force Base -- one of the largest in the world. In 2015, the mural was expanded and dedicated to the U.S. military and first responders.

“When we painted the first flag in 2001, it was only painted on the north end of the roof,” Peter Bos, Legendary’s owner. “Impressive as it was, I wished we could have done more to show our appreciation to all those that keep our nation and ourselves safe and free.”

The flag was brought to life by Wyland, the Wyland Foundation, Legendary and Sherwin Williams.

I've seen a number of works by Wyland, especially when I visited his gallery on Oahu in Hawaii. For some who don't know, artist Robert Wyland is commonly known as Wyland. He is an American artist best known for his 100 Whaling Walls, large outdoor murals featuring images of life-size whales, and other sea life.

What many also might not know is that he is a native of Madison Heights, Michigan, where he began painting as a child and attended Detroit's Center for Creative Studies in the 1970s.

Wyland's connection with whales began when he was 14 on a visit with his family to Laguna Beach, California. It is said that that visit where he saw the ocean for the first time and witnessed several gray whales migrating down the California coast towards Mexico, changed his life.

In 1977, he moved to Laguna Beach and in 1981 painted the first of his 100 Whaling Walls at a Laguna Beach parking lot.

By 1997, his commercial work , sold through 25 Wyland galleries, and licensed merchandise sold at zoos and other outlets had become a multimillion-dollar business. 

His artwork has been used on specialty license plates in California and Florida and for a series of four United nations stamps issued in 2010 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

In 1993, he founded the non-profit Wyland Foundation "to help children rediscover the wonder of the ocean through art," and to finance his Whaling Wall murals.

Wyland's 100th and final Whaling Wall was painted in Beijing in 2008. His foundation has since expanded its work to include other environmental initiatives such as sponsorship of the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.

Wyland lives both in Laguna Beach and in Hawaii. As far as I'm concerned, his whale murals are both beautiful and outstanding, but I love this American flag!

To my way of thinking, it's what America needs more of!

And yes, that's just the way I see things.
Tom Correa

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