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Posted on: October 25, 2023

Connection Between Garland's People and Historic Buildings Inspires Mural Artist

Mila Sketch_Garland Mural 2023_360x250

Austin-based artist Mila Sketch hopes her brightly colored mural at the corner of Sixth and State streets will aid what she described as the ongoing elevation of the city.

"I was inspired by the former times of Garland and the deep connection of people living here now to historic buildings affiliated with their past," she said. "The mural features 20 buildings and local objects that are important to the city, each in its own way."

The work took her more than 336 hours. Not counting the black outline, the artist used 31 different colors.

Completed in mid-October, Sketch's "Elevate" was the second major unveil in Downtown Garland. A few weeks earlier, Julie Chi completed a 9-foot tall, 110-foot-wide mural on the east side wall of Roach Feed & Seed.

“It’s really an honor and privilege to do a mural on a historic building like this,” she said. “For Garland residents, I really do hope they feel a sense of pride and belonging when they look at the mural. And for visitors, I really hope they feel welcome.”

Chi said she sought for the mural to have a culture and tapestry to represent the Garland community. Her floral combination included Texas’ bluebonnets, white flowers, sunflowers and dandelions. A chance, she said, to stop and reconnect with nature.

Born and raised in Vietnam, Chi has lived in Garland for the past 15 years.

“This is my celebration,” she said. “This is a way for me to contribute back to the community. To just celebrate the diversity and the rich Garland history and heritage.”

The City put out a call for artists in August to create murals at the two sites, both within the Bankhead Cultural Arts District. Sketch and Chi were selected from more than 50 artists.

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