World-renowned artist Danaé Brissonnet began bringing her vibrant vision for the mural on the building that currently holds Kollective Coffee & Tea to life on Thursday.
The mural, funded by building owner Bobby Graham and the Downtown Merchants Association, was unanimously approved by the Historic District Commission April 21 after a re-vote. The original design was changed after Graham met with the St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church, which has a prayer garden neighboring the wall the mural will be on. After this meeting, two elements were removed from the original design. Click here for the full article on the re-vote and removal of elements.
Brissonnet said the removal of the elements made the original design boring, but that she wanted to change it anyway.
"When I came here, other ideas came to my mind, and also the wall texture is different and really more intense than I thought, so ... I changed it and it's fine," she said. "But the things that I took out of the sketch made the sketch really boring, so yeah I needed to redo it. I kept all the elements, but I'm changing kind of like the main vision a little bit."
The main element of the developing piece is now a deer with quartz crystal antlers.
"My things are usually like houses," Brissonnet said. "I create one character, but that one character holds on to a lot of things inside of him. It's just kind of like a portal — like a vessel. So in the vessel there's all of these other things happening. So usually my favorite part of that is creating these little world inside of this massive world.
"So there's a deer, but then there's going to be like little heads popping out of flowers or little bees and ... all these little things happening. And in the chest, there's going to be honeycomb, kind of like a whole of honeycomb, and then there's going to be a rainbow coming out of there."
Brissonnet expects the mural to take two weeks to complete. The first week will be "patch work," and the second will be when she goes in to add details.
"I really like to put a lot of colors and a lot of vibrance, kind of like feeling to the texture of the paint, so I feel like I create gardens," she said.
"It's like someone who comes into a garden and ... there's flowers everywhere, and it smells so good. I want people to feel good with that mural."
While the community awaits Brissonnet's finished product at 110 Central Ave., some of her completed work can be found on the patio of SQZBX Pizza. Owners Zac Smith and Cheryl Roorda commissioned her at the beginning of April to paint what is now a dream-like work of art full of blue's and purple's. The piece pay's homage to the building's history as a previous piano shop.
"I'm so happy this town is so like special and like eclectic," Brissonnet said. "There's so many different types of people, it's great. I love it. I love how calm it is and how natural it is."
And Brissonnet is leaving her mark on Hot Springs in more way than one. She will also be the intermission entertainment with a puppet show during Saturday's Foul Play Cabaret show at the Central Theatre. Tickets can be purchased here.
Correction: The addition of the Downtown Merchants Association to the mural’s funding was added after publication. The association provided Graham with a grant to assist in funding.
A distinction between the building and the business inside (Kollective) was also later added. Kollective Coffee & Tea do not own the mural. The mention of Kollective is meant to help readers locate the mural.