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Blue Grass Airport mural to get face lift

A plane came in for a landing while artist Eric Henn painted a mural on a retaining wall at Blue Grass Airport in late 2004. Henn, who is under contract, is set to make repairs to the mural.
A plane came in for a landing while artist Eric Henn painted a mural on a retaining wall at Blue Grass Airport in late 2004. Henn, who is under contract, is set to make repairs to the mural. Charles Bertram

The mural outside Blue Grass Airport in Lexington is getting a face lift.

Finished in 2005, the 6,000-square-foot mural on a retaining wall along Versailles Road is undergoing extensive work on its scenes, which include a horse farm, a stone bridge and a Federal-style house.

In recent weeks, about 40 percent of the artwork has been sandblasted off of the mural, said Mark Day, the airport's director of engineering.

The overhaul is needed because of flaking and other wear. Airport spokeswoman Amy Caudill said it's thought that "there were some challenges between the primer and the paint not bonding properly."

Day, however, said the airport has "never had an issue with the primer coming off the concrete."

"It's always been the top coats of the paint," he said. "That's why we sandblasted. We couldn't get the primer off."

Franklin, Ohio, artist Eric Henn created the mural and is making the repairs. The airport has a 20-year contract with him for touch-ups, Caudill said.

The airport isn't Henn's only work in the area: He re-created a horse race on a 12,000-square-foot water tank off the Bluegrass Parkway near Versailles, and he painted several murals at Newport Aquarium.

Henn will begin repainting in the next few weeks.

"The process depends a lot on the weather, but we are hopefully aiming for it to be done by the end of the year," Caudill said.

It will be repainted exactly the same, Day said.

And if you think you see a local landmark on the mural, think again.

"We made specific efforts when it was first done to not represent any specific farm," he said.

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