LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — On the corner of South Street and Earl Avenue business is blooming. Jiffy Lube of Indiana President Steve Sanner thinks a mural of flowers painted on the building could be the reason.
"Amanda is the manager and she said, I think it's the mural," said Sanner.
Sanner stumbled upon the idea of murals when he hired someone to clean up graffiti on his Jiffy Lube store in Broad Ripple.
"Went from one little piece of graffiti at one store and now we have nine murals and we are doing six more next year," said Sanner.
He started out paying artists a few thousand for their work and then he got with the Indianapolis Arts Council.
"Now we are paying up to $10,000 for murals," said Sanner.
That's how much Lafayette artist Craig Martin was paid for his purple coneflower masterpiece.
"I just wanted it to be something that could be readily recognizable by a wide range of people," said Martin.
"I didn't know the history of it, but it's an indigenous flower in Indiana," added Sanner. "It's beautiful and purple is my favorite color so it all works well!"
Before the murals, Jiffy Lube took a different approach.
"I mean we are the oil change car business, we always marketed sports and to men," said Sanner.
However, Sanner felt it was time to change that image. Martin hopes more people jump on board.
"There's that cultural thing that says, oh, flowers and beautiful art are more of a feminine idea and cars and oil changes and football are a male idea and that's thankfully starting to break down," said Martin.
Even the mechanics are finding interest in the mural.
"Our people aren't necessarily in the arts world, although they have some cool tattoos, but this has opened their eyes too," said Sanner.
Sanner said he can't help noticing more opportunities for public art and he hopes this story inspires the same in others.
"To take it out to retail locations, highly visible locations and allow artists to have a chance to show their work is really cool and I think other businesses should take advantage of that too," said Sanner.
Jiffy Lube stores in Indiana were the first to paint murals but Sanner said he's introduced the idea to owners in other states and they're working to continue the trend across the country.
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