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Uncovered mural depicts unity and history

This mural was uncovered on Grand Forks Air Force Base N.D., Oct. 4, 2016. It was painted in 1975 by Airman 1st Class Candido A. Veras. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Elijaih Tiggs) (This image was manipulated using photomerge techniques in Adobe Photoshop.)

This mural was uncovered on Grand Forks Air Force Base N.D., Oct. 4, 2016. It was painted in 1975 by Airman 1st Class Candido A. Veras. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Elijaih Tiggs) (This image was manipulated using photomerge techniques in Adobe Photoshop.)

Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. --  

A lost mural was discovered Oct. 4, during building renovations.

The artwork was painted in 1975 by Airman 1st Class Candido A. Veras and depicts Airmen of different ethnicities working together conducting maintenance operations.

According to Bryan Booker, 319th Air Base Wing historian, the artist was a regular Airman who served for four years and, after separating from the Air Force, continued to pursue his love of art.

Booker explained base records also mention Veras had more pieces of art on base.

“He was commissioned to do at least two other murals,” says Booker. “One mural for the equal opportunity office and another for the Strategic Headquarters building that were here during the time he was here, around 40 years ago.”

The building where the remaining mural is painted has been on the base since 1959 and was renovated multiple times. During the current renovation to construct more office space for the 69th Reconnaissance Group, this artwork was revealed.

“The mural reflected what was going on in the military in 1975,” said Booker. “It was the beginning of the all-volunteer military when a lot of people were coming from a lot of different backgrounds.”

Booker said Veras created art pieces for the University of North Dakota as well as other places in North Dakota, Texas and Paris.

Booker said many people who know Veras’ later art pieces didn’t know about this mural because it was an early work of his.

Booker said UND plans to send people from its art department to evaluate preserving the mural.

“I’m hoping they can preserve it, not only through pictures, but actually get the piece and it not be destroyed,” said Booker.

The mural is painted over cinderblocks and that causes an issue for safely preserving Veras’ art.

The mural has attracted attention from the community and Airmen, past and present, through social media and word-of-mouth.