Artist undertakes huge painting project in Houston
HOUSTON They say everything is big in Texas, and the latest tribute to Old Glory is testament to that. The artist hopes this will encourage unity and grab the attention of the younger generation. Creating the world's largest hand painted American flag atop a three and a half acre steel roof is a hands-on job. While Scott LoBaido and his crew are about 80 percent complete, Houston's recent weather conditions are not cooperating. While their prayers hold back a downpour, a few drops did bring the project to a halt because the paint buckets need to stay rain free. "Cap it up! We got rain! Cap it up!" yelled LoBaido. An artist out of New York, he says his patriotic passion exploded almost 20 years ago. In 2006, he traveled to every state in the Union painting American flags on homes, businesses and churches. Now LoBaido is painting the largest one ever. He says Old Glory is his favorite work of art, and he feels is losing its message. "Ninety-nine percent of us that live here are not from here. We are from every corner of the world. And this symbol, his work of art represents the world. I mean it's a welcome sign," said LoBaido. Lamon Gasket Company's roof was an appealing location because of its proximity to Hobby Airport's flight path. But with other states still in mind, the Lamon's diverse workforce, which represents 23 countries, sealed the deal. 'We've got people in this company from all over the world who are now U.S. citizens. We are proud to be Americans. We are proud to be representing the troops," said Bill Grossey of Lamon Gasket Co. As LoBaido, the New Yorker with a Texas-style hat, battles the heat, humidity and occasional shower, he says his passion pushes him to pursue his project, a project that began 15 days ago. "I'm 45. I shouldn't be up here doing this. It's murder, but then I just, I tell my workers the same thing. Remember there are men and women overseas right now in hotter weather, carrying heavier gear and they are getting shot at," said LoBaido. He says he will finish by July 4, the date of America's 234th birthday. LoBaido is streaming live video of the project on his website here.