(HUNTSVILLE, Ala.) -- A new mural, designed and created thanks to Huntsville creative agency Red Brick Strategies, now graces downtown Huntsville as a part of Downtown Huntsville, Inc.’s Something Interesting Downtown by PNC Bank. The initiative, fueled by DHI, is intended to get people excited and inspired through art.
“Red Brick’s mural is exactly what we were looking for with our Something Interesting Downtown grants. What they are creating could become iconic for Huntsville,” says Chad Emerson, DHI’s president and CEO.
Located at 200 West Side Square, courtesy of the development’s managing owner, Anne O’Shea, the mural is the first of several similar projects Red Brick has in the works to bring more “smart” art to Huntsville.
The murals use a technique known as ‘forced perspective’…a concept where the art is created in such a way that it must be viewed from a specific angle to be seen as intended. Such art can be intellectually and physically invigorating, requiring viewers to be active participants with not only the art itself but to engage with the area in a new way.
“Creativity and art can look like many different things to many different people,” said Trent Willis, founder and CEO of Red Brick Strategies. “It’s understanding those different perspectives that help creativity come to life.”
Willis attributes the success of the project to Red Brick’s Creative Director, Dustin Timbrook. “[His] unique perspective and limitless creativity made this project a reality.”
“Huntsville is a smart city,” says Timbrook. “It’s time we start producing smarter public art. Stuff that forces people to stop, think, and engage. We want to inspire creativity and more projects to really showcase the kind of creative minds we have here in Huntsville. We appreciate DHI for giving us the opportunity to do this and hope that it continues to grow.”
Downtown Huntsville, Inc. started the Something Interesting Downtown program three years ago as a part of calling attention to the diverse and inclusive community Huntsville has to offer. The program, with the support of sponsor PNC Bank, awards grants for projects to help promote innovation and excitement in the community.
“Never underestimate the power of public art,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Murals make our downtown more welcoming and walkable by giving us something beautiful to look at and something to talk about. A mural may inspire creativity or a meaningful conversation, and that builds community.”
“They added a lot of life to the Square and it served as a place for local artists to share their talents,” Anne O’Shea said about the mural, “Bring your kids down to see the fish swimming up Spring Street!”
Downtown Huntsville, Inc. has been working with Red Brick since the beginning to find creative ways to make downtown something unique.
Willis calls the team at Red Brick the “creative misfits.” Their passion for unique ideas and delivering incredible work is no stranger to their cause.
“At Red Brick and in Huntsville, our dreams never start small. The work begins early. Whether it's going to the moon, or bringing so many people together today to bring work on art, we see no reason to stop. Ideas drive us, the work excites us, and we'll keep working on that next impossible dream.”
Red Brick’s “misfits” said they were overwhelmed with the dozens of volunteers that helped finish the 100 ft. mural in less than five days. Hundreds of passers-by had already stopped to take pictures of the mural before its completion.
Red Brick hopes the community will continue to embrace their work.
“Creativity doesn’t need to be outsourced,” added Timbrook.
Willis added, “We want this to be the start of something interesting for our city, by those in our city.”
Since grants issued from the program don’t quite cover the expense of materials, Red Brick has started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for future projects. You can find the page at this link.
You can help us bring more smart art to Huntsville by supporting our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/make-huntsville-interesting-murals.
The first funds raised will go to cover the expenses for the first mural not covered by the "Something Interesting Downtown by PNC Bank" microgrants.
Red Brick's mural is more than 100 feet long and nearly 20 feet high at its tallest point. The mural is a forced perspective installation and is best viewed at a marked location at the site. More than 20 volunteers helped to bring the project to completion.
Photo credit to Red Brick Strategies, Inc.
Red Brick Strategies was founded in 2013 and is North Alabama's premier creative agency, receiving 'Best of Show' honors from the American Advertising Federation - North Alabama in two out of its three years of competition in addition to receiving one-third of all awards presented at the most recent competition.