Frank Campagna was up with the sun to work on his new mural off Elm Street in Deep Ellum. It's the first mural Campagna has done since the pandemic, but his murals in the neighborhood date back four decades.
"I'll be 65 next week," Campagna said laughing. "I should be on the cover of AARP magazine!"
Campagna owns Kettle Art on Main Street. His gallery walls often feature new artists, but he looked to history for inspiration for the new art deco-style mural on the west side of Deep Sushi.
"The inspiration for this mural is my love for my grandmother," Campagna said. "It's a nice way to pay tribute to her."
The grandmother he called 'Momo' drew fashion design sketches. One of them, a woman wearing a cloche hat, is at the center of Campagna's colorful mural.
"This is the original sketch here," Campagna said showing the sketch. "I was very fortunate to have her so close, and love me so much, and show me so many things."
The sketch was drawn in 1923, during the roaring '20s, after the Spanish Flu pandemic.
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"Which bears a very strong resemblance to COVID-19 that we're just coming out of this time around," Campagna said. "This is your time...have a blast. Be kind to each other."
Campagna said it's no coincidence that he can draw parallels to his grandmother living through another '20s coming out of a pandemic. That the timing of his mural also happens to coincide with his birthday next week, and his mother's birthday later this month, was a bonus.
"It's like, oh, this is a 'meant to be'," Campagna said. "They happen all the time in life if you're aware enough to look for them."
Campagna expects to finish his latest mural in the next two weeks.