The Town Lake YMCA recently commissioned me to paint a mural about faith and community. The Y was beautifully renovated last year, but in the process they lost a wall with a mural of Jesus Christ. The YMCA is, of course, a Christian organization at its roots, but it has grown over the last century to be an incredibly diverse and inclusive community. Tiffany Patterson, the director of the Town Lake, wanted a mural that reflected the contemporary YMCA community - both spiritually and culturally diverse. We brainstormed ideas, and the sketches below represent the original mural concept and redesign based on staff feedback.

This was such a fantastic project for me, and quite a ways out of the scope of my usual work. As I generally paint in a very simple graphic style with characters mostly in silhouette, this piece was a challenge and a test of my abilities as an artist. I believe my last painting of people was a giant self portrait rendered for a painting class in college (which I haven't seen since because it's a bit creepy to look at a 4ft x 4ft image of your own head). But I digress...

This mural truly was a joy to paint, and it was fun having my process on display for all the stationary bike riders in the vicinity. The YMCA really is an amazing community, and I felt the support from the members and staff as they came by to chat with me while I worked. Thank you, Town Lake YMCA, for your amazing support of the Austin art community!