The tower outside the Continental Gin Building was painted by Shepard Fairey. Photo by Renee Umsted.

Shepard Fairey made his mark on the tower at the historic Continental Gin Building in Deep Ellum.

Fairey, known for works including the “Hope” poster popular during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, painted a mural called “Cultivate Harmony” on the tower. It features an eyeball surrounded by the words “eyes open minds open” as well as other encouraging messages such as “cultivate,” “harmony” and “rise above.”

On his website, Fairey said he first painted street art in Deep Ellum 21 years ago, and though he has worked on water towers before, “this fully painted cylinder was possibly the most serious logistical challenge” of his career.

“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,” Fairey writes on his website.

The artist and his crew were working from 150 feet off the ground on temporary scaffolding less than two feet wide. It took three days to complete the painting.

Fairey was commissioned by Goldman Global Arts, a Miami- and New York-based collective, and Westdale, the developer and owner of the building.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.