Greenville, Texas, is a colorful town. In the downtown area is a dynamic public art program that includes interactive art, galleries, sculptures, and 11 big, beautiful murals.
Take a look at the art that brightens the streets of Greenville.
TODAY IS THE DAY
Brandon Adams created this mural on Oak and Washington streets to encourage people to pursue their dreams. He says, “No matter what it is in life that you have the opportunity to do, seize that moment. If you notice the clock, there are no hands on the clock face because there is no time to waste. We all need to be encouraging to others.”
When Adams was painting this mural, a young man rode up on his bike and watched for an hour. The young man finally spoke to him and said he wanted to be a muralist. So Adams had him pick up a paint can and start painting with him (the “D” in the word day). The mural began inspiring people before it was even finished.
The mural on Stonewall and Lee streets is also by Brandon Adams along with local artist TEX. With this wall being located near the Hunt County Children’s Advocacy Center, Adams was very conscious of the mindset of children entering the center, so he wanted to create something to let the kids and parents know that somehow things would be okay. “Hope” is the message of this piece, showing a playful child in a splash of many colors.
This mural is brushless as it was created entirely by spray paint. The artists used the Montana brand of spray paint (widely used by art professionals). Each can’s tips are adjustable, allowing for a surprising degree of precision. About 100 cans of spray paint were used to create “Hope.” The design was done on a computer and the artists had color printouts on 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper. Other than that, the mural was done entirely freehand, with no chalk outlines or projections on the walls. Surprisingly, the entire 15 x 40-foot piece was completed in just nine hours.
A LEGACY OF PERFORMANCE
This piece, by former Greenville resident Pat Rawlings, is a larger-than-life assembled mural that reflects the great performances from the Greenville Municipal Auditorium (GMA) which is located directly across Washington Street. Performances alluded to include Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, The Dallas Symphony, the Kenneth Threadgill Concert Series, various classical, contemporary and country artists as well as numerous plays, musicals and dance performances. The traditional, brick-veneer wall is a historical witness to attendees as they exited each of these performances. The unassuming facade is now finally able to respond with energetic imagery that captures the spirit of the GMA.
The mural design was originally created on a computer using a combination of digitally painted and photographic elements. These elements were then outlined by hand with cutting vectors allowing them to be cut out on a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router. Some of the elements were just cut out as shapes while others had black and white photographic images printed as a basis for overpainting. All of the shapes were painted using a combination of spray gun, airbrush and traditional paintbrush techniques.
Pat Rawlings first job was as a commercial artist for the Greenville Herald Banner in 1974. His first large format art was several 60-foot-wide backdrops for the Greenville High School A Capella Choir Musicals “The Sound of Music” (1972) and “Fiddler on the Roof” (1973) that were performed at the Greenville Municipal Auditorium.
LIFE AND NATURE
Each side of this corner piece by Joseph McCowan on the corner of Stuart and Washington streets tells a story. The image of people reaching for the sun represents “family” and Joseph painted them as multi-cultural on purpose reflecting Greenville truly becoming a multi-cultural community. The other panels all reflect nature with different birds, flowers, and trees. He chose these particular subjects, because for him, they represent an expression of joy and happiness. McCowan has been painting for more than 30 years and finds inspiration from being around other artists.
While this spectacular installation on by Cathy Smithey features bright colors, it is not just a mural, but a fully fleshed-out idea that was thoughtfully and boldly designed to include a painted background, directional signage, a life-size sculpture of a famous citizen, a four-by-eight-foot framed section for changeable art, a metal sculpture attached to the wall and backlit at night, and a three-dimensional sculpture that sits on the edge of the sidewalk.
Many of the world’s most famous high-kicking dance lines — from the Rockettes in New York City to the Kilgore College Rangerettes to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders — are influenced by the pioneering work done in Greenville. Featured on "Spectrum" is Gussie Nell Davis, who popularized the high-kicking dance style and unique uniforms for the Greenville High School Flaming Flashes before spreading her influence to Kilgore and around the world.
"High Cotton" by Pamela Edwards is on the side of the Scott Ray and Sullivan Law Office at 2806 Stonewall. This hard-edge abstraction celebrates the rich geologic history of Greenville, Texas. At top, wavy bands of blue indicate the many millions of years this area was underwater. White and bright yellow-green hues respectively represent salt and sulfur deposits that are abundant in local soil. Below, a multicolor rectilinear motif pays homage to native inhabitants who cultivated the land. And the color transition from vibrant blue to deep red-brown symbolizes water seeping into enriched earth. In contrast to the colorful geometric layers above, colorless cotton whimsically emerges from black land soil. It is cotton for which the city of Greenville became internationally known.
This mural was commissioned by Hunt County Public Art, part of Keep Greenville Beautiful. It was funded by Hearts for the Arts, and endorsed by Daniel W. Ray, Esquire. Artist Pamela Edwards was assisted by one student apprentice and local volunteers.
HORNS AND ALL
"Horns and All" by Pamela Edwards is located at the rear parking lot of Uptown Forum off St. John Street, between Lee and Jordan streets.
The mosaic depicts a Texas horned lizard, the official state reptile, known locally as a "horny toad." Largest of all species, Texas horned lizards grow up to five inches in length. These tiny dinosaurs can puff up their bodies, and shoot a five-foot stream of blood from the eyes and mouths when in peril. Still, the passive scaly sunbathers have long been a threatened species.
In this mosaic tribute viewers discover native stones, locally acquired found objects (including a chain, a staple gun, spikes, and door locks), and tiles and broken pottery in a variety of earth tones.
When citizens of Greenville first learned of this new piece of art, a naming contest was held to name the horned toad —his name is Spike.
FIND YOUR MATCH
Bob Bird created "Find Your Match" using a "grid painting" style. This artwork uses a careful selection of colors that lets viewers play a matching game. Each individually mixed color was applied to only two squares, allowing participants to try to find the matching pairs. Bird estimates 15 to 20 minutes to find all the matches.
Just around the corner from "Find Your Match" is "Be Seen." This attention-getting sculpture is designed to let people photograph themselves within the fun artwork, using a double-sided design. Standing about 12-feet tall, "Be Seen" is meant to reflect the blank expression of humanity. The enormous size of the character trying to peek over this tiny wall ads to the whimsy of the piece. This has quickly become one of Greenville’s top photo locations as visitors are invited to "Be Seen" in Downtown Greenville.
CELEBRATION OF MUSIC
This colorful large-scale mural was created at the request of the building owner. The owner knew that he wanted something that represented music and tied together the Greenville Municipal Auditorium on Washington Street to the many music venues found on Lee Street. He also wanted the words “Live Music,” “Hip Hop,” “Blues,” and “Rock” to be included in the mural. So, Brandon Adams enlisted the assistance of noted artists TEX and Sergio Garcia. Each artist took on different aspects of the mural. TEX is known for his lettering and took on the words. Adams is known for his faces, so he focused on the female performer, and Garcia is known for his large-scale objects, so he worked on the keyboards, musical notes and record. The mural starts with a record shattering on the left side, which moves into the piano keyboard, then moves into musical notes to the female performer on the right.
TEX is also known for his clothing accessories products – Yumslife. Yumslife items can be identified by their distinct logo of a smiley face with its tongue sticking out. Also, when TEX is working on mural projects, he is known throughout the county for his lettering abilities. He uses regular spray cans with no special nozzles. To achieve the precise look for his letters, he holds the nozzle so close to the brick wall that the spray can ends up scraped and dented from contact with the bricks.