mural_CF_July 12, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Carmen Fritz

San Marcos is home to a plethora of beloved public art and murals and locals are always on the lookout for the latest public art installment. Earlier this month, The Good Stuff Community Store reached out to local artists and school children to help paint a mural on their building.

Carmen Fritz, The Good Stuff Community Store owner, said the space is a creative hub. The store is open seven days a week to artists and art lovers alike, often hosting art exhibitions and featuring live music.

“It’s a place for artists, people who want to buy art and we even have a space in the back for artists who don’t have their own studio to do their art,” Fritz said.

Bejat McCracken, local muralist, will be the curator of the store’s new mural design. McCracken has designed and painted murals for buildings in San Marcos, Austin and Seabrook. McCracken said she believes murals are a great way to unite the community.

“Murals educate, inspire and can even change mindsets,” McCracken said. “This mural, in particular, is intended to do all of the above and make you feel happy.”

This mural’s design will be a larger than life depiction of insects and pollinators native to the Central Texas region. The mural will also feature the prickly pear cactus, sunflowers, passion flowers, coral vine and a bobcat.

The Central Texas Natives mural is the first San Marcos mural to allow anyone and everyone to contribute to its creation.

Planning for the mural is estimated to take two months to complete. Prior to planning, the store will host a series of community painting days which are painting classes open to children ages six and up. These classes will teach participants how to accurately paint the insects and plants to be featured on the mural.

“All are invited to come paint, learn about the process and the native species that can be found in their own backyard,” McCracken said.

Fritz and McCracken hope to collaborate with Texas State’s biology department to create an accurate depiction of over thirty species.

Rene Perez, local artist, has been painting in San Marcos for over a decade. Perez said adding a community mural is a creative way to actively involve families and residents who don’t take part in the college lifestyle San Marcos often caters to.

“A big complaint I hear is that there’s nothing for families downtown, it’s all based on the students,” Perez said. “I think if the rest of the community was able to leave a little mark downtown they would feel more welcome there.”

According to McCracken, the painting of the mural is estimated to be completed in five to six weeks. However, much of the labor required to finish the project involves prepping the wall prior to painting.

McCracken said in order for the mural to withstand years of wear and tear, the wall must be prepped properly. According to Fritz, this is an expensive process.

The mural will be entirely funded by donations. The San Marcos Arts Commission generally helps fund murals, however this community mural was unable to receive financial support from the city.

The Good Stuff Community Store has found several creative ways to fund the wall.

“Currently, we also have prints for sale where 40 percent of the proceeds go towards the mural for wall repair and supplies,” McCracken said.

The mural, once complete will include a paved pathway embellished with the names of donors who contributed monetarily to the creation of the wall.

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