Winston-Salem Gets an 'Otter Tank'
A 50-foot tall otter has come to play on the side of a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, water tank—a mural that was recently completed to brighten up the white space, while also paying tribute to local fauna.
Japan- and Florida-based artist Daas spent eight hours a day on the project, using an acrylic-based paint geared toward withstanding weather and time.
Water Critter’s Water Tank
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the mural encompasses 15,000 square feet, and is visible to around 25,000 drivers a day. Daas’ portrayal of a river otter was selected out of 47 submissions sent to the city’s Public Art Commission.
The otter's face on the giant Sides Road Water Tank mural is mostly complete now! Watch the latest time lapse. pic.twitter.com/5TTKmD6zeo— City of Winston-Salem (@CityofWS) April 18, 2018
“It ended up looking a little better than I thought. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but it’s hard to do the exact measurements and hard to know how it’s all going to fit,” Daas said. “I added some stuff, made the waterfall bigger and added confetti on the left side to balance things.”
The artist has been painting murals for nearly 20 years. Project planner Kelly Burnett noted that the artist scaled up the image from “an [8.5-by-11-inch] piece of paper to a [50-by-270 foot] mural.”
Daas used a paint brush on a pole from a raised platform, with his assistant radioing to him and using a laser pointer to help as he created the outline.
Daas was paid $38,000 for his work, according to city officials, with funding provided by the developer of the grocery store Lidl. Officials also noted that the water tank sets the tone for a possible future city park.
“I try to imagine I’m a giant working on a small piece of paper, so it’s not so daunting a task,” the artist said. “When I paint I try to bring something from that community so that it will connect with people.”