LSA Burger, located in the downtown Denton Square, is known for its burgers, live music and, perhaps most of all, its rooftop. Artists left their marks on the walls of LSA this weekend as part of the restaurant’s Mural Project.
Mural artist Dan Black was one of the artists selected to paint a mural during the first Mural Project in 2016.
“I was invited to come talk about some options about doing a mural on that wall, and the more we talked about it with the people that headed it up, we determined that it would be better instead of just doing one big mural, to do like six smaller murals,” Black said. “From there, I just rounded up every muralist I knew in Denton at the time and gave that information to LSA.”
Black said murals have the special ability to bring people together.
“I think they can just be aesthetically pleasing, something just interesting to look at,” Black said. “I think they make really good conversational pieces. They can kind of kick up dialogues, maybe even among strangers, which is a cool thing that I’ve seen. For some reason, murals seem to do that better than canvas art, especially if it’s not in a gallery setting. If it’s in a commercial setting, I think people are going to talk about the art more if it is on the wall.”
Black said the art makes more of an impact when it is created by local artist because it acts as a “visual voice for the community.”
“I feel like the best murals are the ones that community members feel they can take ownership of,” Black said. “They feel like they relate to elements from it.”
LSA gave the participating artists creative freedom as far as the subjects of their murals.
“[LSA] asked that it be appropriate for all ages because it’s a public family establishment, but aside from that, there are really not any parameters put on what the artists paint,” Black said. “What is cool about that is it allows artists to not only express their skills, but express their ideas, thoughts, perspectives and passions.”
Chelsea Miller, a portrait artist and communication design junior, was one of the artists who contributed a mural to the project. She had never painted a mural before, but said she was inspired to try after seeing the murals one of her friends had created and the existing murals at LSA.
“I’m really thankful to have had this opportunity,” Miller said. “It has definitely been hard [because] I was nervous a lot of the time.”
Miller’s mural is a portrait of a woman and it utilizes a lot of red tones.
“I did something really challenging and harder than I would usually do,” Miller said. “I wanted to make it fun so I added a lot of abstract lines to give it more depth.”
Cynthia Giron, an MBA art student at UNT, wanted to be part of the mural project last year after hearing about it from friends. However, she missed the previous year’s deadline to apply.
“Thankfully this year, the University of North Texas actually sent out a call to all the art students and I was able to apply that way,” Giron said.
Giron said murals stand out because of their size and the amount of space they take up.
“Your artwork gets to interact with people who may not be going to art galleries, museums or any kind of art-related events,” Giron said. “[Murals are] out there and people are able to interact with them, especially on the LSA patio. I feel like a lot of people go [to LSA] a lot and they are able to interact with the art in a more public way.”
For Giron, she said she uses her art as a way to tell personal narrative stories that are both understandable and up for interpretation.
“There’s a combination of abstract and more recognizable figures or figurative parts,” Giron said. “I worked with somewhere between abstract and recognizable objects. I like playing with being in-between. It can be abstract and there can be recognizable elements.”
Featured Image: John Bramblitt paints his mural as part of the LSA Mural Project. Bramblitt is a UNT alumnus and began painting after he lost his eyesight. Image by: Adriance Rhoades.