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Lincoln man turns fence into mural to liven up neighborhood amid pandemic
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Lincoln man turns fence into mural to liven up neighborhood amid pandemic


Joel Anderson needed something to do to keep himself busy. 

The coronavirus shutdown has left Anderson with a lot more free time after Seven Seas Tattoo, where he works as a tattoo artist, closed temporarily. That's when he decided to paint a mural on his fence.

"I've obviously got time on my hands," he said. "I'm an artist by profession, so it keeps my hands busy."

Anderson got his inspiration for the mural from the art he already does. 

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"I paint commissions for people and do anything from abstract-shape paintings to old-school tattoo art," he said. 

The abstract mural, an assortment of colorful shapes, can be seen on the corner of 27th and Washington streets. 

This isn't Anderson's first large-scale artistic venture. He did two of the Serving Hands sculptures — the mosaic and the rubber duck — seen around Lincoln. In fact, he used some of the leftover paint from the duck to paint the fence mural.

Anderson said he spent about eight hours a day working on the mural. It took about a week to complete, including an interruption of snow that kept him from working on it.

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With the mural done, Anderson plans to go back to painting commissions to earn some income while he awaits the tattoo parlor's reopening. 

"A lot of clients have been supportive of buying my work, especially during this time," he said.

He said he received a lot of support with honks and thumbs-up from people driving by as he worked on the mural.

"The neighbors love it," he said. "Everyone has been giving really good feedback."

After seeing his handiwork, some of his neighbors have asked him to paint murals on their fences.

"I feel like it gives good vibes in the neighborhood," he said. "It gives people something to look at and take their mind off things."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7241 or

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News intern

Samantha Bernt is a Fremont native and a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in journalism and broadcasting. She joined the Journal Star in 2019 as a reporting intern.

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