CRESTVIEW — It's the summer of public wall art in North Okaloosa County.
As a state prisoner wraps up a mural on Baker Block Museum, muralist Darryl Davis is working on the north wall of a 1920s Main Street building.
"If the weather would just cooperate I'd have more done," Davis said, adding one of the frequent recent showers to hit the area caused some of the paint to run before it dried.
Davis' mural on the side of the Stewart Law Firm continues a tradition of large-scale artwork on early and mid-20th-century commercial buildings.
The art offers a glimpse of when the building served as a dentist's office. Through a hole-in-the-wall view, a girl peers at an old-time dentist's chair and equipment.
Other motifs include a 1960s scene of a boat being rowed up flooded Main Street, an old postcard and the Fox Theatre.
Daily history lessons
Main Street barber Mack Brooks, whose shop is the longest continuously operating business in the historic district, offers Davis near-daily support and advice, the artist said.
Brooks shares his frequent history lessons with Davis during the octogenarian's daily walks from his barbershop to lunch at Uncle Bill's Restaurant, and sometimes in the morning as well.
"I'm going to paint his picture on that 2-cent stamp on the old postcard," Davis said. "Mack stops and gives me his 2 cents' worth, so I'm giving it back to him."
Several downtown buildings’ sides historically had lavish artwork and advertisements.
Former Main Street Crestview Association director Ryan Arvay was in negotiations with Coca-Cola for funding to restore an old-fashioned Coke ad on the side of the former New Central Café.
However, when the City Council cut funding for his position, Arvay resigned before the project could come to fruition.
Davis drew a 1-inch scale layout of the mural and scaled each square inch up to a square foot on the building’s smooth stucco side.
When Davis is finished, the mural will fill the entire side of the building and will wrap partially around the back.
He expects it will take at least two more months, weather permitting, before the work is finished.
Want to go?
Watch muralist Darryl Davis work on the side of the Stewart Law Firm building most weekdays during fair weather at 215 N. Main St., Crestview.
Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.