Wednesday, February 1, 2023

“We Are Southlake” Contest Winners Artwork Chosen for New Library Cards

The Southlake Library is proud to introduce two new library card designs for patrons, which showcase the artistic talent of Southlake residents.

Carroll High School Senior Bella Hanson and Southlake resident, John P. Denk Jr., were selected by Mayor Laura Hill and the Mayor’s Alliance for Unity & Culture as two of the winners of the “We are Southlake” Poster Contest last September. The contest was held to kick off celebrations for the City’s 64th birthday and encouraged artists to visually represent what they love about Southlake. “We were thrilled to see the creativity of our incredible community,” stated Mayor Hill at the time.

This spring, when the Library decided to order new library cards, two of the winning submissions were selected for the card designs.

“The Southlake Library is very excited to be able to promote the talent of residents and celebrate their gifts by using the winning artwork designs for the two new library card covers,” stated City Librarian Cynthia Pfledderer. “The artwork chosen recognizes the vibrant culture and community pride of Southlake.”

Bella Hanson is a talented artist and is looking forward to attending Texas A&M next year after graduating in May from Carroll High School.  Hanson is an AP Art Student and cheerleader, and her artwork has been selected previously by the City as a winning submission for another contest.

John P. Denk Jr. has been a Southlake resident for almost seven years and comes this way most recently by way of Chicago, although he grew up just outside of the DFW metroplex.  He is an Art School graduate and has been a commercial and graphic artist.

If you haven’t visited the Southlake Library, or it has been a while, please stop by soon! The Library has exciting upcoming programs for Summer planned, and you can always stay informed of what is going on by following the Southlake Library on social media at Facebook and Instagram.

Artist – Bella Hanson


Artist – John P. Denk Jr.

City to Install Public Art at Park Village

Ideas are beginning to take shape for the artwork planned to be installed at the Park Village fountain at the corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue.  

During a joint meeting January 27, Mayor Laura Hill, the City Council and the Southlake Arts Council discussed art options and timeframe for the installation. 

The Arts Council envisions a contemporary sculpture that portrays flight. The property is the former site of an airstrip. Discussions are ongoing with an artist based in Arkansas. 

“Southlake’s Public Art program brings such a special feel to our community,” Mayor Laura Hill said. “Working with the Arts Council to bring another incredible piece to one of Southlake’s most popular areas is exciting. That corner deserves a special piece that captures the spirit of our City and all it represents.” 

Funding for the artwork will come from a public investment agreement with the property owner that uses sales and property tax from the development. 

In November, the Southlake City Council approved a zoning change and site plan for the Park Village development that included modifications to the fountain area. The fountain was deemed inoperable, and the modifications will correct issues to create a community atmosphere. The site plans call for the City to install public art. 

The property owner began construction this week to modify the fountain area with an anticipated completion June 2021, weather permitting. 

‘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

Project Graduation 2020 Now In Town Square

In tribute to Southlake’s 2020 High School Seniors, Project Graduation is taking over the front part of Southlake Town Square.

“Our high school seniors are amazing,” said Mayor Laura Hill.  “They have been through so much because of the COVID-19 crisis; we wanted to find a special way to honor them.”

For several weeks, Mayor Hill and the City have been working with the parents of high school seniors and Carroll ISD to gather the names of Southlake’s 800+ high school graduates. The names are now listed in alphabetical order on the light poles, as shown on the map below.













“I would like to make a special request of our graduates and families, if you take a picture next to your name, please send to the City or me through Facebook messenger or email (,” Mayor Hill added. “I can’t wait to see all of the smiling faces.”

The display is scheduled to be in Town Square from now until mid-June.

Governor Abbott Announces More Re-Opening Orders

Governor Greg Abbott has updated his COVID-19 executive orders to start the re-opening of many more Texas businesses.

As of May 1, retail stores, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, and museums are allowed to open up to 25% occupancy.  The occupancy can expand to 50% on May 18 under phase 2 if there is no surge in COVID-19 cases. The Governor noted that while the businesses are allowed to open, there is no requirement to do so if business owners feel uncomfortable.

Local healthcare providers who are in private practice are also allowed to re-open as of May 1. In all cases, the businesses are asked to follow social distancing guidelines.

Businesses that cannot re-open as of yet include hair salons, bars, and gyms. The Governor said he hopes that they would be allowed to open no later than mid-May. He made the changes after creating and consulting with the newly created Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas.

Earlier this month, he allowed for the opening state parks during daytime hours, elective surgeries, and a retail-to-go model.

“The Governor’s orders support a safe and responsible re-opening of many Southlake businesses,” said Southlake Mayor Laura Hill. “We’ve already seen many of our stores embrace the curbside pick-up and the retail-to-go model; I know our business owners will find success working with the new changes as well.”

At their April 21 meeting, the Southlake City Council discussed the formation of a business leaders task force to support Southake’s business and economic re-opening. To hear the Council’s discussion, click here.

For the latest COVID-19 related updates and links to county, state, and federal sites, visit For a list of City E-Services and Southlake business resources related to the re-opening, visit Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news.

City Plans Business Leaders Task Force

At the April 21 City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Hill spoke about plans to form a business leaders task force to support Southake’s business and economic recovery following the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

“We want to get Southlake back on its feet, and we want to do it responsibly and safely,” said Mayor Laura Hill.

In mid-April, Mayor Hill asked Mayor Pro Tem Shawn McCaskill and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Huffman to start work on Southlake’s economic recovery. The task force will be a critical part of those efforts.,

“We are looking forward to working with our board and commission members,” said Mayor Pro Tem Shawn McCaskill. “This is an all hands on deck situation.”

“Southlake has the best and the brightest minds,” said Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem John Huffman. “We are tapping into a deep talent pool and are confident we will get some fantastic recovery ideas.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during his April 21 press conference that he is ready to update Texas’s stay at home order, currently in place until April 30. Previously, the Governor announced the opening of state parks with social distancing restrictions, curbside pickup at retail stores starting Friday, April 24, and the suspension of in-person learning at all Texas schools.

For the latest COVID-19 related updates and links to county, state, and federal sites, visit  For a list of City E-Services, restaurants, grocery stores, and other essential businesses that are helping Southlake get through the stay at home order, visit Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.

Governor Abbott Reveals COVID-19 Re-Opening Plans

In an afternoon press conference, Governor Greg Abbott revealed his plan to re-open the Texas economy.

The Governor issued several executive orders that lay out a phased opening strategy that touches healthcare, restaurants, retail, schools, and state parklands. The re-opening plan also includes testing requirements and social distancing strategies.

He indicated that Texas’ stay-at-home order stays in place until April 30. Still, today’s actions ease some of the current restrictions, including surgery limitations at hospitals and healthcare facilities, allowing for retail stores to shift to a purchase and pick-up model, and re-opening state parks.

The Governor also announced that Texas public and private schools, as well as universities, will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

He said earlier in the week that any re-openings and easing of social distancing requirements would be “tied to our ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”

“The Governor’s action is the first step of many that we will have to take to re-open Texas and, in turn, Southlake,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “The Council and I will also be looking to Tarrant and Denton Counties for their plans to ease current restrictions.”

Mayor Hill also stated that while she asked Councilmembers Shawn McCaskill and John Huffman to oversee Southlake’s recovery effort, each Councilmember is critical to Southlake’s revitalization as they each bring unique talent and perspectives to the situation. She also noted that Southlake’s appointed board members, particularly those on the Community Enhancement and Development Corporation, will be important for working through economic initiatives.

“We need to get people back into our businesses, but we need to do it safely,” the Mayor said. “We also need businesses to tell their story in a way that helps people feel good about re-investing into the local economy. Our community partners, such as the Southlake Chamber and other local business leaders, will play a critical role.”

“Staff is already studying ideas and developing a framework and recommendations for recovery,” said Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher. “We will work closely with our partners as well as our appointed and elected officials to help our residents and businesses get back on their feet.”

Southlake is currently under several local stay-at-home orders that extend through April 30.

For the latest COVID-19 related updates and links to county, state, and federal sites, visit For a list of City E-Services, restaurants, grocery stores, and other essential businesses that are helping Southlake get through the stay at home order, visit Finally, be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.

Be The Bridge Comes Home to Southlake

A poignant milestone was reached today on the North White Chapel and Highland Street roundabout. The Be The Bridge public art piece is now in place.

“It’s an emotional day,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “In the middle of all of this uncertainty, to have this beautiful sculpture take it rightful place in the heart of our City just feels good.”

Picture artist unloading art

Artist Boris Kramer helps install Be The Bridge.

Artist Boris Kramer sculpted Be The Bridge. It is composed of several different metals, including stainless steel, bronze, copper, and brass. It is 16 feet wide by nearly 17 feet tall.

According to Mr. Kramer, each of the figures feature a curve in space to make the figures appear to be in motion. Also, when viewed from above, the sculpture looks like an “S.”

He also stated in a narrative given to the City, “The bridge is intentionally left with a gap in the middle to represent the challenges that exist in our society due to our differences.  The bridges in our lives do not always connect.  The children dancing on the bridge are able to “jump over” the challenges by working together, holding hands, and simply playing together.”

“I am so excited for people to enjoy it,” Mayor Hill added. “Especially now, this sculpture tells Southlake’s story. The artist constructed a gorgeous piece of art.”

The piece is the latest addition to Southlake’s Public Art collection.  For a virtual tour and art locations, please visit

Be the Bridge during installation.


Tarrant County Issues Stay at Home Order

A Stay At Home order has been issued for Tarrant County residents by Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, in effect from 11:59 p.m. today, March 24, until April 7, 2020.

At a Tuesday (3/24) press conference, Judge Whitley announced that he would issue an executive order that requires Tarrant County residents to stay home and leave only for essential travel, to work in essential businesses, and for essential activities. To read the full text of the order click here.

“We are working closely with state and local officials to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “The Governor’s updated executive order and Tarrant County’s updated orders are the tools we need to help protect the public’s health,” she added.

What This Means for Southlake

  • Residents are to stay at their place of residence and practice social distancing unless they are leaving for essential activities, or working at essential businesses, essential governmental services, essential critical infrastructure, or to perform minimum basic operations.
  • Essential Activities are defined on page three of the order and include activities necessary to get supplies or food for your families or household.
  • All businesses except essential businesses, no public occupancy is allowed. Minimum basic operations are permitted with proper social distancing. Pages seven and eight of the order defines the essential businesses.
  • Essential businesses are to conduct business with proper social distancing and to provide screening precautions to protect employees.
  • Public and private gatherings outside a single household are prohibited.
  • Food establishments, including those at schools and hotels, are limited to drive-in, drive-through, take out, and delivery with proper social distancing. No in-house dining is allowed.
  • Houses of worship are to remain closed for in-person services. Staff members are allowed in their buildings to produce audio/video services, but social distancing is required.
  • Non-essential visitors are prohibited from going to nursing homes, retirement communities, and long-term care facilities unless they are providing critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.
  • Elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited.

Mayor Laura Hill’s First Amended Declaration of Local Disaster and Public Health Emergency, signed on March 23, states the City will adopt all rules, regulations, and limitations issued by Tarrant County, Denton County, and the State of Texas contained in their executive orders, or disaster declarations. The Council also voted on March 23 to extend the Declaration “based on [the] weekly review conducted by Mayor Hill and City Manager Shana Yelverton” and “until terminated by order of the City Council.”

“The City’s Office of Emergency Management has prepared for this possibility, and now that it’s reality, the City will move forward on supporting the order,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski.

Stay informed. is the City’s information page that provides a centralized place for the City’s COVID-19 latest news and resources. It also contains links to county, state, and federal sites. You can also text PROTECTSLK to 888-777 for text message updates and be sure to follow the City’s social media to stay connected with us and with each other.