Photo by Michael Cavazos
A downtown Longview mural painted by a Spring Hill High School freshman invites the community to experience a spring melody.
Fourteen-year-old Ava Arnold painted the mural, titled “Spring Melody,” with her mother on the back wall of Texas Tire Exchange, which is at Tyler and High streets. The mural is among those commissioned by Arts!Longview to enhance the city’s cultural arts district. Ava and her mother, Wendy Arnold, painted the mural over the course of a week in August. It is among three murals that will be dedicated Oct. 7 during the next downtown ArtWalk.
“Our concept is about the creativity of children and how curious they are about everything,” Ava said
The mural features a girl blowing a dandelion, its petals transforming into music notes in the air. The mural features a dedication to Georgeann Trammell, the late wife of Dan Trammell, who owns Texas Tire Exchange. Dan Trammell has a musical past. So not only does the mural befit the Arts!Longview district, it also ties into Trammell’s background.
“Spring Melody” is one of three new murals downtown commissioned by Arts!Longview. The other two are “Longview Flower Power” by Dace Kidd and “Color For Your Ears” by Diego Baracaldo. Additionally, Kidd painted a privately commissioned Unity Mural downtown that pays tribute to the late Longview artist Anup Bhandari. Baracaldo also partnered with Longview business owner Zahck Israel on a privately commissioned mural downtown that pays tribute to Longview’s past.
Ava, who grew up in Carthage and moved to Longview about two years ago, said she has been artistic most of her life. Art runs in her mother’s side of the family, she said.
“We eat, sleep and breathe art,” said Ava, who enjoys various mediums including drawing, painting and occasionally clay.
She submitted three mural designs to Arts!Longview, and “Spring Melody” was selected for the wall. The process of transferring the mural, which was designed on a computer, to the wall was a learning experience, but Ava said it wasn’t too difficult.
The mother and daughter projected the image from the computer onto the wall and sketched an outline onto the building. They then went to work painting and said it took about a week to complete.
“We’re very grateful for the opportunity to have been able to do this. It was a very unique opportunity,” Wendy Arnold said. “The City of Longview and Arts!Longview were very great to work with, and we’re appreciative of that. We’re appreciative of Mr. Trammell; he is precious and he’s become family to us. We couldn’t have been gifted a better wall to work on.”
Ava plans to continue honing her artistic talents by attending the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia; she’d like to be a fashion designer one day. She said she hopes her mural, as well as the others downtown, help inspire children and young adults in the community to explore their passion for the arts.
“Some kids want to explore bigger mediums and they want to work bigger, but they don’t know if they can do that,” Ava said. “It can be done. It is possible. We did this in a week.”
Wendy Arnold said from the utility box wrappers to the murals, she has enjoyed seeing Arts!Longview transform downtown.
“I appreciate the fact that they’re doing this because it inspires cultural differences and uniqueness, and it inspires people who have unique talents that may not have opportunities to be able to express those in other ways,” she said.
Arts!Longview will have dedications for “Spring Melody” along with “Longview Flower Power” and “Color For Your Ears” during the next downtown ArtWalk, set 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 7. “Spring Melody” will be dedicated at 5:30 p.m.; “Music For Your Ears” will be dedicated at 6 p.m.; and “Longview Flower Power will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m.
Article by Christina Cavazos