Vibrant new mural dedicated in Wichita Falls

A colorful new mural in Wichita Falls is bringing beauty to a formerly dull brown building along the Circle Trail System.

Local artist Aaron Soto transformed a humble lift station into a four-sided work of art featuring native plants and animals. Officials and members of the arts community gathered to dedicate the mural Tuesday afternoon.

The city’s Public Works Department partnered with the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture to commission Soto to design and paint Lift Station No. 25 on Midwestern Parkway near the intersection of Irving Place, according to media releases from the Alliance.

Artist Aaron Soto speaks during the lift station mural dedication in Wichita Falls on Tuesday, Dec.  20, 2022.

“Growing up just outside of Holliday gave me an appreciation for native plants and animals,” Soto said in a media release.

“I used to love roaming the pastures around my house looking for them. This mural will evoke that youthful fascination and connect people with the wildlife that surrounds us,” she said.

Soto is an MSU Texas graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She is an experienced portrait artist and muralist. She was assisted by Brandon Shanks.

One of the sides of the lift station mural in Wichita Falls on Tuesday, Dec.  20, 2022.

A city official said historically such infrastructure has been invisible to the public eye.

“This is the citizens’ infrastructure. Not only should it operate well, but it should also be pleasing to the eye, as well,” Daniel Nix, city utilities operations manager, said.

“This mural project will change that invisibility by utilizing the arts and culture sector to celebrate some of the infrastructures that keep Wichita Falls running,” Nix said.

Ann Arnold-Ogden, Alliance executive director, said the nonprofit is honored to partner with the city to showcase local artists who are building the city’s reputation as a creative community.

One of the other sides of the lift station mural in Wichita Falls on Tuesday, Dec.  20, 2022.

“This mural will create new experiences for residents and visitors and become a landmark for the neighborhood,” Arnold-Ogden said.

The mural is, indeed, bringing vibrancy and beauty to the mundane.

A lift station is part of the wastewater and sewer system. In low areas along the route to the treatment station, it lifts the water and waste to give it the momentum to make it there.

This is the second public mural to be installed along the Circle Trail System. The first mural was installed in 2018 on the Wichita Spillway located within Lake Wichita Park.

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