Community Mural Celebrates the Beauty of Diversity in the City of Plano
A large, public-facing mural was just installed at our Legacy Campus. We've been very intentional that this mural not be a promotion of Chase Oaks Church or any of our ministries. Rather, we wanted it to be a celebration of the city of Plano. So, we commissioned three talented artists to work together and create a public art piece for our city—one that upholds values that everyone in our community can share, regardless of where they are in their faith journey.
To understand more about this mural, I sat down with our three artists (Dusty Gilpin, Lindsay Zodrow, and Carlos Barboza) and asked them a few questions.
Greg: So, tell me about the theme (or themes) you were working with on this image.
Dusty: We are celebrating Plano. The hot air balloons are a reference to the Plano Balloon Fest. The monarch butterflies fly through here on their migration. But mostly, we are honoring the fantastic diversity of Plano. The mural is a blend of different types of diversity in a community that is unified.
Carlos: As we thought about the theme of diversity, we wanted to depict different types of things. We wanted to show differing races but also things like culturally specific fabric patterns and objects such as the Chinese lantern and then weave all those things together into a tapestry—where the result is greater than the sum of its parts.
Lindsay: Ultimately, we wanted to create something that is for the community – where the community feels like they are in it, and seen in it, and valued.
Carlos: The theme of “the beauty of diversity” is also reflected in our different artistic styles. The hope is that our three distinct artistic styles can complement each other. Utilizing differing styles for something like this is kind of an echo of what we are trying to say with the mural overall.
Lindsay: Along will all of that we were also pursuing a theme of joy which shows up in the colors we chose. Vibrant color is something that all three of us gravitate toward naturally, but for this mural we wanted joy to come through clearly, so we really wanted to utilize bright colors.
Greg: As people drive by and interact with this mural, what is your hope?
Carlos: I hope people appreciate it and can feel pride for their community because of it. But I would really love for people to park and get out of their car and walk up to it so they can experience the scale of it. When you are up next to a mural of this size it kind of creates an emotion that is hard to explain.
Lindsay: As an artist, I hope people drive by and say “Wow. That is so beautiful.” I also just hope that people feel a part of it. I hope they see themselves in it. And, since it’s bright and colorful, I hope that people who drive by while they are feeling grumpy can feel a little lighter.
Greg: What about for the city of Plano? Since this is now public art it’s part of the city now. What’s your hope for this mural within the city?
Carlos: Public art kind of democratizes the idea of art. Once you put something on a public-facing wall it kind of belongs to everybody, and everybody gets to take pride and ownership of it.
Lindsay: Murals are one of the things that can help make a place or a city special and highlight why it’s cool. People will drive long distances to see murals created by artists that they love. And murals can be a really useful tool in placemaking.
Greg: Explain that. What does “placemaking” mean?
Dusty: Before this mural, people would walk or drive right by and would pay no attention to the big, gray wall. Now there is something here—something beautiful and positive that people will interact with. People will now take pictures of it and share those pics with others. There will be people getting their senior photos or wedding photos done in front of this wall. This mural activates the space in front of it. Placemaking is taking a space that no one pays attention to and turning into a place that the community knows about, utilizes, and is proud of.
Dusty, Carlos, and Lindsay have done a fantastic job with this mural. They have honored our broader community, and they have done so in a distinctly Chase Oaks way. They have also created something beautiful with a high degree of artistic excellence.
Our Legacy mural is the first of three proposed Chase Oaks murals. The others will be at our Woodbridge and Sloan Creek campuses. To learn more about the Chase Oaks mural project, visit here.