Newest Waco mural adds to arts scene

ADDITION TO THE WACO MURAL SCENE Waco Running Company is in the process of finishing a new 224-square-foot mural outside their new store, which is set to open in October. Baylee Versteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Jennifer Smith | Reporter

Last week, Waco Running Company erected a new 224-square-foot mural outside their soon-to-be store, located at 700 Franklin Ave. The mural has completed phase one and two, and will be officially unveiled after the final touches are made for phase three. The Waco Running Club’s mural will have its grand opening this October — however, a specific date has not been selected yet.

When driving down Franklin Avenue , it is hard to miss the spacious artwork that stretches across the historic red brick building. Christina Swanson, the director of marketing for the Beringer Group LLC, said that was exactly what they wanted.

“There are over 5,000 cars that travel down Franklin, and we wanted a big way to welcome people to our city and our store,” Swanson said.

Unveiling this mural will also celebrate a major milestone for the Waco Running Company. The store has been occupying space for the past year inside Bicycle World, located at 215 S. University Parks Drive. Swanson said the success grew so rapidly that the company decided they needed to open their own store solely dedicated to walking and running in Waco.

“We wanted to show that we are committed to opening the store and committed to downtown Waco,” Swanson said. “It’s a big way to plant a flag and show where we’re headed and where we’re going to stay for years to come.”

The mural catches your eye while driving, with the word “Waco” centered in bold and in all caps, accompanied by the words “Running Company” underneath. The art surrounding the words depicts a person running in perfect form under the arch of Waco’s recognizable Suspension Bridge.

For the mural, Swanson said they hired an artist from Great Big Signs Inc. named Lynn Wilkerson from Kyle, Texas to design it. She said Wilkerson has about 54 years of experience with art instillations and commercial art projects.

“Wilkerson took the Waco Running Company’s logo and added his artistic touches to put it on a grand scale while also staying true to the architecture of the building,” Swanson said. “We really wanted to preserve the architect and history of the building.”

The owner of the Waco Running Company is a Baylor graduate, and Baylor students like Idaho junior Mary Crowley seem to really enjoy having this resource in Waco.

“They’ve been so helpful in finding the right shoes and gear I need,” Crowley said. “I’m such an outdoorsy girl, and it’s [nice] knowing they encourage safety and comfort when you’re shopping.”

Swanson said the amount of support and encouragement from Baylor, Waco and the surrounding community has been positively overwhelming.

“Everyone has so much pride in Waco, it’s a great time to live here,” Swanson said.

Be sure to keep up with the latest news on the grand opening coming in October.

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