Calera Main Street reveals newly restored Coca-Cola mural

Published 12:47 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

CALERA – Calera Main Street revealed the newly restored Coca-Cola mural on Friday, May 5 in an alley off Highway 25 in downtown Calera.

The historic mural was recreated to match the ghost images left behind from the 1930s and other murals from the same era around the Southeast.

“It has been suggested that this mural be restored for many years,” Calera Main Street Executive Director Jackie Batson said. “It was mentioned when Main Street Alabama was considering Calera’s designation. It made perfect sense to bring this mural back as part of the alley activation which ultimately becomes a gateway to the new Calera Courtyard.”

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, headquartered in Birmingham  partnered with Calera Main Street to support this effort.

“It all started with our search for an old photograph of this wall,” Batson said. “We always wanted to revive the mural as part of our revitalization efforts, but it wasn’t until our local grocer spoke to Coca-Cola and they graciously agreed to assist us, that this project actually took off. Once it got started, it moved very quickly. We can’t thank our partners at Coke enough for bringing this wall to life. It will welcome visitors to our Calera Courtyard for many years to come.”

Skip Bondur and Logan Flint of Pensacola, Florida were the artists selected by Coca-Cola.

“This mural has generated a lot of buzz ever since we solicited the public to try and help us find a photo of what it used to look like,” Batson said. “Now that we have completed it, we’ve gotten a very positive response from everyone that has seen it. Our social media posts about it have reached over 20,000 people and been shared dozens of times.”

Batson took time to thank all the elected officials who were present for the reveal of the mural and the official ribbon cutting, as well as the mayor of Calera, councilmembers and representatives of the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Thank you so much,” Batson said. “This is such an important day for Calera, and I am so excited to be here.”

Bondur was present at the event and spoke on what creating and restoring this historic mural meant to him.

“I get the most awesome experience in all of this,” Bondur said. “Because I get to take a glimpse of what it used to look like and try to bring it back to make you all smile again. I think I get the greatest joy in all of this. We want to continue to bring smiles back to hometown communities.”

Mayor of Calera Jon Graham was also present to say a few words on what the mural means to the city of Calera and thanked Coca-Cola.

“Welcome to our Main Street District,” Graham said. “This is an awesome day for us to get together and have an unveiling of a mural. We thank you, Coca-Cola UNITED for this. This day would not be taking place without your support and your interest in our city.”