“Cultivate Harmony” Water Tower Mural In Deep Ellum

May 19, 2021

All Photos by Jonathan Furlong

I just returned from Dallas where my crew and I painted a 30 foot high surface on a 150 foot high water tower called “Cultivate Harmony” in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. I was excited to paint a mural in Deep Ellum because the creative energy in the neighborhood is amazing, with art popping up everywhere (including a great mural by my friend of many years Maya Hayuk), and it is the first area where I ever put up street art in Dallas 21 years ago. I’ve done plenty of water towers “hit and run” with paste-ups over the years, but this fully painted cylinder was possibly the most serious logistical challenge of my career.

My crew and I were working 150 feet up on 19” wide temporary scaffolding with ropes and harnesses for long hours over 3 days. Luckily we had great support from a safety crew who also helped hoist up supplies and pizzas. The imagery and text of the mural needed to be bold enough to read from a distance, so I stuck to evergreen themes that I hope people will take to heart: the idea that peace and harmony need to be cultivated with care and love, and that it is important for all of us to keep our eyes and minds open.

I threw in a nod to Black Flag, and some encouragement to take the high road, with the “Rise Above” text.

Thank you to my crew of Nic Bowers, Dan Flores, Rob Zagula, and Luka Densmore for the hard work at perilous heights. Thanks to Jon Furlong for the photos and Zane Meyer of Chop ‘Em Down Films for the videos. Thanks also to the Goldman Global Arts team and the Westdale team for inviting me and facilitating the project!