Slideshow: Luling Pump Jack Art

Luling, which once gushed with oil and was known as the “toughest town in Texas,” has found a unique way to celebrate its heritage: decorating its aging — but still working — pump jacks with vibrant colors and characters. When the price of oil plummeted in the early 1980s and major producers left the Central Texas town, city officials commissioned art at several of the wells near its center in hopes of catching the eyes of tourists.  

George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton, about 40 miles east of Luling, has managed the project for the past 15 years. That job has including maintaining the original art and creating a few new characters.

A total of 183 oil wells are scattered throughout the city.