Written by Marissa Graf, Staff Writer
Saturday, September 18th members of the Sherman community came out to help paint a mural during the annual Sherman Art Fest. The project was organized by the Sherman Cultural District and they brought in artist David Freeman and his team to help execute the project.
Freeman is an artist and muralist who works in and around Texas. He has worked on various projects such as billboard restorations, murals, marching band background props, sky murals, painted furniture, art trucks, and more.
The entire project started in May 2021 when Cary Wacker, a member of the Sherman Cultural District, contacted Freeman and proposed this idea to him. The Cultural District knew they wanted to do a community mural project and Freeman had experience in this. Freeman, his team, and the Cultural District brainstormed many ideas for the mural.
“It started out with just the wall, and it was up to me to streamline into what direction we wanted to go,” said Freeman. There were many long conversations about the design of the mural. At one point, there were five sections of the mural, but eventually, it was narrowed down to three sections that each represent a different aspect of Sherman. “[The Cultural District was] very instrumental in the design process. So everybody shares that credit for the design,” Freeman expressed.
The first panel represents the fun, funky, and floral aspect of Sherman, the middle panel is the multicultural one and showcases Sherman’s diversity, and the last panel is a celebration of the arts. The district wanted there to be different sections of the mural so that there would be several fun backdrops for people to take photos in front of.
The process of a community mural is lengthy. First, the wall gets prepped and the design is projected onto the wall and traced so that the community members will know where to paint on the designated days. The size of the squares is decided upon to break up the wall into sections, in this case, it was 2×2 squares. Photos of each square of the wall are printed out and taped on the corresponding square on the wall. This is so the community member can choose which square they want to paint. They have a clear visualization of what colors to use and what their square should look like.
After the community painting days, Freeman’s task is to come back with his team and finish and touch up the mural. This takes a couple of days and once finished, the Cultural District and the city can sign off on the mural.
Community members of all ages came out to the mural on Saturday, September 18th. Many Austin College faculty, staff, and students came over to paint as well. “The main thing is they are having fun,” said Freeman. Not only do community members get to paint a mural but they also contribute a little bit of history to Sherman.