PHOTO COURTESY WEST VOLUSIA TOURISM ADVERTISING AUTHORITY MINI-WINGS — Russ Kiel, son of DeLand Wings artist Erica Group and her husband, Jeff Kiel, poses in a concept photo for her new miniature DeLand Wings planned in Downtown DeLand. The new wings will be a mini replica of the DeLand Wings intended for small children and even pets. Group plans to paint the new wings, Sept. 22, on the seventh anniversary of the original DeLand Wings.

September will mark seven years since DeLand artist Erica Group painted the DeLand Wings, a piece of Downtown DeLand art that has become a must-do photo opportunity for locals and tourists. 

To celebrate the anniversary, Group, in collaboration with the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, will paint a special set of Wings designed for little folks, and even four-legged ones.

WINGS ACROSS WEST VOLUSIA — While the DeLand Wings were her first design, artist Erica Group has painted a series of wings around West Volusia over the past seven years. How many have you taken photos in front of?

The DeLand Wings are in Persimmon Lane, which runs along the east side of The West Volusia Beacon office at 110 W. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand. The new wings will be right near the original pair.

The new set of wings was approved Aug. 25 by the DeLand Mural Committee.

“I don’t know if we’d make it out of here alive if we didn’t approve this thing,” Committee Member Mike Orr told Group and Tourism Advertising Authority Executive Director Georgia Turner.

Orr, a lifelong DeLandite, described the DeLand Wings as “DeLandicana,” on par with the Historic Volusia County Courthouse dome, Stetson University’s Elizabeth Hall and Downtown DeLand restaurant Tom’s Pizza.

The new DeLand Wings will be an exact replica of the original, but this time measuring 4 1/2 feet from the ground to the wingtips, and about 4 feet wide. Corresponding measurements of the original Wings are approximately 9 feet and 9 feet, and users of the interactive mural regularly have to prop up children and dogs to get photos with the proper “wings” effect.

Other than size, the two murals will be nearly identical. 

“I’d like to duplicate the originals as much as possible,” Group told the Mural Committee. “A true miniature version.”

The original DeLand Wings were painted on Sept. 22, 2014, and Group plans to start painting the miniature version on Sept. 21 so she can finish her seventh pair of West Volusia Wings exactly seven years after she finished the original.

“It seems like the right time to do something like this, especially with the seventh anniversary,” Group said. “It feels right.”

The DeLand Wings have drawn tourists and locals into the Downtown area to take photos, Turner of the Tourism Advertising Authority told the Mural Committee.

She still often has people stop in asking where they are, she said.

With little discussion other than excitement expressed by members of the Mural Committee, the new set of DeLand Wings was approved unanimously.


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