News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Kay and James R. Hahn work on their mural to honor the Sebring Centennial.
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published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Centennial mural to be finished in November
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Two artists and a group of citizens and businesses joined in creating a birthday card for the city.
Larger than life, a mural is taking shape on what had been a bare, boring, rectangular wall on the (roughly) northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Ridgewood Drive.
James R. Hahn and his wife, Kay, are the artists behind the project. "The Centennial was coming up and we wanted to do something special," he said.
When Katie and Mike Eldridge offered a blank wall for a mural celebrating Sebring's 100 years, Hahn jumped at the chance. "It was a meeting of the minds," he said. "What better way to commemorate the city's birthday?" Sponsors stepped up to cover the costs and the city gave its blessing.
As of Saturday, the Hahns had completed about half of the work, and the 40-foot-wide painting began to take shape.
Race cars pop out in the center, a checkered flag to one side, the state flag on the other. Just above the race cars, a sea plane comes in for a landing.
There's a twist with the plane. Look closely -- the wall has a large exhaust fan sticking out of the side at the top.
"I love to incorporate the quirky," Hahn said, and was happy the fan was there. "By painting out two blades now it looks like the plane's propeller and actually turns in the wind," he said and laughed.
To one side there is a basket of citrus, and an ode to Florida postcards which feature iconic Sebring scenes. As the town's founder, George E. Sebring will have a place of pride.
The painting has a hometown feel, Hahn said, with a picket fence along the bottom and gingerbread trim on the sides.
A grand opening will be scheduled in mid-November.
Hahn said nothing could have been done without the financial support of local sponsors, including several businesses.
He personally wanted to thank, among many, the Sebring family, Aeromed, Eldridge Carpet One, Essential Depot, Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, and Taylor Rental.
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