5 Mockingbird Apartments. Photo courtesy of Chris Arnold via Facebook.

Artists have started work on the new mural at an apartment building on Mockingbird Lane.

A team of two from Eyecon Studios arrived for the first day of work at 5 Mockingbird Apartments on Monday. Well, the first day of work for the new mural.

The Oak Cliff-based studio has been at 5555 Mockingbird Lane for a project before. It was the creator of the original murals, painted about a decade ago. Architects, who were working on building repairs at the time, reached out to the artists directly and asked them to do a mural. Eyecon ended up painting seven art deco murals about 35 feet tall.

Chris Arnold, a principal at the studio, said the original murals were designed to reflect the community. The location apartment building sits near where a Dr. Pepper factory used to be, at the intersection of Mockingbird and Greenville Avenue.

When Crow Holdings acquired the apartment, they decided to rebrand by painting over the art deco murals with beige paint. So the murals, completed with paint shipped in from Germany that costed about $500 per gallon, were only visible for a few years, covered with beige paint coming in around $40 per gallon. The art was meant to last throughout the lifetime of the property, Arnold said.

A few years ago, Strategic Property Investment Advisory purchased the property. The new owner knew about the building’s hidden art and wanted to commission a new mural. SPI opened applications to all local artists, inviting them to submit concepts for the project.

“When we found out about it, it was just incredibly personal, and I was just determined that we were going to be awarded this project,” Arnold said.

Eyecon, which is celebrating 30 years of business in Dallas, was selected.

“We are so happy to be a partner in keeping public art alive in our city and bringing color back to an already vibrant community,” Arnold wrote in a Facebook post announcing the project.

Arnold expects the mural to take about three months to finish. Right now, the team is stripping off the beige paint and preparing the wall for a new artwork.

The Advocate reported on the new mural in November 2020.

“I grew up in the Dallas area, and when the prior owner painted them beige, everyone was disappointed to see them go,” said Michael Becker, the principal of Strategic Property Investment. “The owner did a great job of taking care of the interior, and we’re trying to make the curb appeal more memorable.

“We want to make it Dallas centric so people who live here can get inspired,” Becker continued. “A little piece of Dallas history of whatever we put up there is the goal.”

Arnold didn’t want to reveal the full design, but he said it will include a male and female figure. And it’ll be just as large as the original work. They want to stay true to the art deco style, but give it a contemporary flair.

Read more: LOOK: New mural takes flight at Mockingbird Station