Source: Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum

Restored "You'll Love Katy" Mural Brings New Life to Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum

June 10 2024

In celebration of its 22nd birthday on June 13th, the Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum gifted the Katy community with a freshly restored "You'll Love Katy" mural. The iconic mural, originally painted in 2002 by Dayton and Sandy Wodrich, has once again assumed its vibrant presence in Katy, courtesy of a locally-grown artist, Melissa Windham Neill.

The Wodrichs, hailing from Brenham, have left their artistic stories on over a hundred murals across the United States, with their work even finding its way into the collection of the Library of Congress. Their "You'll Love Katy" mural has served as a photoshoot location for countless occasions, showcasing the joy and camaraderie typical of Katy's community, from weddings to homecomings.

Over the last two decades, the mural braved the elements, leading to a faded and peeling exterior. Recognizing the importance of the mural to the community and the need to breathe life back into the artwork, the museum brought on board Melissa Windham Neill, a native Katy artist with a profound local reputation.

A section of the "You'll Love Katy" mural before the recently completed restoration. (Source: Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum)

Melissa and her team, comprised of friends, family, and assistants, painstakingly restored the mural to its original design and vibrant colors. In homage to the museum's founder, Johnny Nelson, Melissa added the late pioneer's favorite saying – "Have a Rice Day!" – to the rice harvest scene. Upon completion, Melissa's signature joined the original ones, symbolizing the union of the past, present, and future of Katy's artistic legacy.

The Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum, located at 6002 George Bush Drive, is a testament to Katy's rich history. Authentic vintage farming equipment, fascinating antiques, and old photographs narrate the story of Katy’s agricultural and pioneering eras within its 9,600 square-foot space, originally opened in 2002. Whether for schools, clubs, or groups, the museum offers special tours by arrangement.

"Working with these great Texas artists has been an honor," the Museum representatives expressed on social media. "We hope that the newly restored mural will bring further decades of enjoyment to the Katy community."

The Museum and MKT Depot Museum are open Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, offering free admission while kindly accepting donations.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek, authorTiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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