Monday, September 20, 2021

‘I Believe in Southlake’ Mural Goes on Display in Town Square

Southlake Town Hall has a new accessory this week as the City’s first mural titled “I Believe in Southlake,” was unveiled on Tuesday, December 8.

Inspired by the public art displays in New Orleans, it was developed to show some of the many reasons why Southlake is vibrant and unforgettable.

Mayor Laura Hill said City officials started brainstorming ways to bring more people to Southlake Town Square and enjoy with their families.

“I am so proud of our City. Southlake is so many things to so many people, and I love that this piece of public art captures all the things that make it unique and special. I can’t wait to see the pictures on social media; I think it’s a great way for people to make memories in a place that all of us love to visit and enjoy,” she said.

The city is putting the final touches on the newly erected display to help ensure safety for those taking keepsake photos in front of it.

The mural, designed by Southlake’s Marketing and Graphic Design Coordinator Missy Saunders, includes beloved staples of the Southlake community and Texas. It is the first of its kind Southlake Public Art initiative. The painting, which is estimated to be 15 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, was further developed by local artist Liz Bonham. It’s located on the building’s northwest side, across the street from Rockfish.

This initiative is also part of the Southlake Arts Master Plan, which includes creating engaging public spaces that stimulate discussion, cultivate patrons of the arts, and celebrates Southlake’s history.

To learn more about the City’s public art collection, visit SouthlakePublicArt.com.

Town Square Mural Project – I Believe in Southlake

Community Services Director Chris Tribble presented a first look at the Town Square Mural Project at the August 18 City Council meeting.

With recent changes to the economy due to COVID-19, businesses had to adjust to new challenges with decreases to customer volume and how to serve their customers.

“Several months ago, when we first started talking about the economic recovery of Southlake and doing some initiatives to help our businesses… one of the things we’d talked about in particular is bringing people back to Town Square,” Mayor Laura Hill said during the meeting. “Since we already had the ‘I Believe in Southlake’ logo, I’d thought it would be really cool to paint on the side of one of our buildings.”

The mural titled, “I Believe in Southlake,” was designed by Graphics Coordinator Missy Saunders and includes beloved staples of the Southlake community and Texas. It will be the first of its kind as a part of any Southlake Public Art initiative. The painting, which is estimated to be 15 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall will be on display in Town Square.

The artwork will be painted by artist Liz Bonham and is scheduled to be completed Fall 2020, weather permitting.

This initiative is also part of the Arts Master Plan, which includes creating engaging public spaces that stimulate discussion, cultivate patrons of the arts and celebrate the history of Southlake while continuing to integrate art into the daily lives of residents and visitors.

Commissioned Artwork Speaks to COVID-19 Feelings

Every one of us can say that dealing with COVID-19 for the last several months has impacted our lives. Local artist and former Carroll ISD art teacher Gayle Bunch set out to morph those feelings into art when she created her first piece about COVID-19.

When Southlake Mayor Laura Hill saw Bunch’s painting on social media, Hill commissioned her to create one for the City of Southlake.

“I always look to art when I am trying to capture a special moment in time. The pandemic has certainly not been special in the traditional sense of the word,” Hill said. “I knew the minute I saw Gayle’s piece that it was the perfect way to capture the impact of the pandemic on our citizens and most importantly, our City staff who had just been devastated by the COVID death of fellow employee Darlene Rubio.”

Hill asked City Manager Shana Yelverton, Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski, former Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher, Fire Chief Mike Starr and Police Chief James Brandon to share their personal thoughts about the pandemic.

“Gayle turned those heartfelt words, thoughts and fears into something beyond memorable,” Hill said.

Bunch said the words used are important because the community was given new words throughout the pandemic.

“Artists record the times and that is what the painting is about. I named it Southlake Together 2020 as a tribute to what was going on and a community coming together,” she said.

Bunch said she is focused and devoted to the painting and what she wants to portray.

“A mentor told me once that the painting talks to you and tells you what it needs. That’s exactly how I approached this one,” she said. “It was truly an honor to be asked to create artwork that speaks to the community and City employees in Southlake.”

The painting incorporates the United States flag with words and phrases like “Flatten the curve,” “#southlakestrong,” “The New Normal,” “Darlene Rubio” and “Better Together.” The artwork is displayed in Town Hall.