You can't miss Mag & May on West Magnolia Avenue in South Fort Worth.
The apartment building is trimmed in bright yellow, and all around are 20 colorful murals that embrace the vibrant culture of the neighborhood known as the Near Southside.
The murals are the works of local artists and embraced by Hudgins Companies, a family-owned real estate company that developed Mag & May.
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"The Hudgins Company said, 'Let's find some local arts and let's have them contribute to the building, and we're gonna pay them a fair wage and tell them this is a project that respects their talents,'" explained Megan Henderson, the Director of Events and Communications for Near Southside, Inc.
As impressive as those murals are, what's to come to the Near Southside's Magnolia Village will be a show stopper.
"I think the Inkala mural is so stunning," Henderson said. "And to me, it's at a scale that's bigger than could ever imagine."
Eric Inkala is a self-taught artist from Brooklyn by way of Minneapolis hired to paint a mural seven stories high, from the ground to the top of the apartment building.
"Trying to take a drawing that's this big and making it 70 feet tall and getting proportions right. It's not easy," Inkala said.
Just think about some of his challenges: He has to go up in a cherry picker, and he sure can't take a step back to get a good look at his work.
He's up against the elements.
And the canvas he's working on, a concrete wall, soaks up the paint.
"I think I ordered 200 cans so far, which I'll probably end up needing a little more," he said.
Inkala first picked up a can of spray paint as a teenager and back then not everyone appreciated his artistic talent.
"Initially, I started as a graffiti writer. Years and years ago." he said. "I did graffiti. I wrote my name where I shouldn't have."
He's now right where he should be with a highly visual and evolving style seen in galleries across the country and abroad.
Lauren Childs, the founder of Fort Works Art, saw Inkala's work on Instagram and invited him to show his work in her gallery.
"Eric is one of the hardest working and most talented artists I’ve ever collaborated with, and we’re thrilled that he’s on our team to continue to put Fort Worth on the map as a cultural hub. But most importantly, we’re hopeful that the inclusion of his murals will push the envelope and set the stage for future works of this caliber," Childs said in a news release.
And, with the 70-foot mural at the corner of May and West Magnolia, new visitors will get to experience his art — with a drive by.
"That's the statement. A mural that is as big as this is becomes a beacon. You can see it a mile down the street," Henderson said.
"I want them to take away whatever they take away from it," Inkala said. "I think everyone has their own personal experience with a piece of art and something like this."
Inkala started the project on Oct. 4 and the completed mural will be unveiled at the annual community arts festival ArtsGoggle, Saturday, Oct. 19, noon to 10 p.m.
ABOUT FORT WORKS ART
Fort Works Art is committed to bringing life, vitality and energy to the art scene in Fort Worth, TX. They are a resource for both seasoned collectors and the everyday individual. Existing somewhere between a gallery, a cultural center and a museum, Fort Works Art strives to continually evolve into its own entity, free from the traditional labels of the art world. They exist to support the arts, to give back to the community and to inspire youth.
ABOUT ERIC INKALA
Inkala’s signature style includes graffiti to pop art to contemporary art. His work showcases a playful graphic language in the form of a signature character who serves as a vehicle for an autobiographical narrative. His universally approachable concept is amplified through increasingly complex patterns and symmetry. His work has been exhibited nationally at galleries and been presented internationally, most recently at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen Denmark. Inkala’s work has graced walls in Minneapolis, Palm Springs, and at the Ace Hotel in New York City.
ABOUT NEAR SOUTHSIDE, INC.
Near Southside, Inc. (NSI) is a private, member-funded, 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to the revitalization of Fort Worth’s Near Southside as a vibrant, urban, mixed-use neighborhood. The Near Southside, a 1,400-acre district located just south of downtown Fort Worth, is growing following the principles of smart urban development, sustainability, a mix of uses, walkable and bike-able streets, and truly livable pre-suburban neighborhood design. It is the heart of Fort Worth's creative class and offbeat indie spirit and is experiencing an amazing renaissance, with hundreds of restoration and new construction projects transforming the district and attracting new residents and businesses. In addition, the area’s renowned restaurants and historic landmarks attract visitors from throughout the region.
ArtsGoggle, presented by Near Southside, Inc. and Hudgins Companies Mag & May, is Fort Worth's premier festival of local arts. This free to the public, family-friendly event annually hosts more than 1,000 visual artists, 50 musical performances, artistic displays of every kind, food, drink, and fun for everyone across both Magnolia Village and South Main Village.
ABOUT MAG & MAY:
Mag & May, Hudgins Companies first Near Southside project, is a 5-story 231-unit project with a 5-story parking structure, and 9 additional loft style units housed within 8,885 square feet of street-level frontage on the highly sought after Magnolia Avenue, an iconic and popular destination for great restaurants, nightlife, theater, and live music. In addition to top of class finishes and amenities, the project also features 20 one-of-a-kind murals. The Hudgins Companies is a 70-year old, Fort Worth based, family-owned and-operated company focused on developing premier multifamily housing across the Lone Star State. Hudgins Companies latest projects in Fort Worth include; the 285-unit currently under construction Ramble & Rose, a 7-story project at the intersection of Rosedale and Jennings in Fort Worth’s Near Southside, In addition to multifamily, Hudgins owns and manages more than 25 properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, 350,000 square feet of that in industrial and retail space.