PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port Arthur community members are using art as a form of expression and healing.
This week, a new mural was unveiled in Port Arthur that's paying homage to the city's rap history.
The old mural was taken down over a decade ago, but the new work of art has a special meaning for the community.
If there's one thing about Port Arthur it’s that they love to celebrate their own.
When the mural was taken down it really struck a chord with the community.
So, its restoration has the town talking, and even rapping.
At the corner of 17th Street and Woodworth Boulevard, you will find a project that has been years in the making.
"Elias has been wanting to paint this mural for the longest," Armando Ruiz said.
Ruiz is leading efforts in beautifying Port Arthur through art from the seawall to a mural of UGK featuring rappers Bun B and the late Pimp C.
"We are the ones that are working toward our future, the people that live in our community,” Ruiz said. “Whenever you take a business, you take a local business and you make it your own that gives you pride in your hometown."
The previous mural was taken down in 2011. A decade later, Ruiz said the pain still remains for many in the community.
"So, that mural is kind of like recognizing our own whenever you tear something down that has that sentimental attachment to its always disappointing," Ruiz said.
In less than a week, the community pitched in to finish the project. The final brush stroke was completed on Sunday.
For some it’s just a painting, but for this city it’s a symbol of pride.
"What this mural has done, it has brought back our hopes,” Ruiz said. “We have now created a place where we recognize some of our own and that was the whole idea behind it."
Other projects are in the works, such as adding to the seawall mural.
The artists are considering adding Janis Joplin to the wall soon. No date has been set for when they plan on doing that.