Downtown Sherman’s burgeoning art scene got some new flavor recently with the addition of a large mural on Wall Street.
The mural, which was done by local artist Sarah Duran, was officially unveiled Thursday morning by the 2018 class of Leadership Sherman, who commissioned the artwork as their class project for the course.
“We wanted to add to the culture within the downtown Sherman area,” class member Tyson Bennett said. “We believe we have a thriving culture in downtown Sherman and to do a mural like this — bring in more of the arts and you’ve seen some of the murals around town — we wanted to add to that. We just wanted something to have a lasting imprint here to add to our thriving downtown.”
The mural, which is on the south wall of the building at 205 N. Travis, depicts a woman on an old, square television complete with rabbit ears presenting the “Sherman: Classic Town, Broad Horizon” logo and the text, “Now featuring: new restaurants, local art, boutique shops, family fun!” Then in the upper-left corner of the wall, a figure can be seen operating a television camera with Sherman printed on the side of it.
“It’s a great symbol of the city of Sherman and what it means to be a part of this community and support all that we’re doing,” Bennett said of the mural.
Sherman Mayor David Plyler praised the Leadership Sherman program, which is put on each year by the Sherman Chamber of Commerce, saying its results are long-lasting for the city.
“The program has also made a difference, and in my opinion, far more important impact on our community,” Plyler said. “Because Leadership Sherman consistently, on a yearly basis, takes a few dozen people who are interested in learning more about themselves and their city and turns them into engaged, informed citizens. This program is responsible for inspiring people to volunteer at local nonprofits, join local boards and run for city council. It’s in that way, Leadership Sherman has truly improved the quality of life in the city.”
Plyler then thanked the Leadership Sherman participants, who were scheduled to graduate from the class Thursday evening, for the lasting addition to downtown.
“It’s a wonderful piece of art and it will absolutely add a bit of pizazz to our Central Business District,” Plyler said.
Duran said the work was a true collaboration with the Leadership Sherman class.
“This is something that took more than several months to put together,” Duran said. “It was back and forth with different ideas and finally came together with something that we can all be proud of.”
Duran also revealed that Leadership Sherman has named the woman in the mural “Miss Shermaine.” She said she was honored to be part of the project and told a story about an occurrence while she was working on the mural.
“It was one or two days after Barbara Bush had passed away and I started getting these cars of these older women driving by with their pearls on and looking up and looking at her,” Duran said. “It made me realize at that moment that there’s so much more unintentional things that happen when you put art up on the wall. I’ve had people driving by and little kids smiling and people stopping and wanting to interact. There’s joy that comes to people’s eyes.”
Duran also thanked Leadership Sherman for making the mural happen and supporting the arts.
“You’re the people that make this community better,” Duran said. “Without you guys, my art is just on a wall somewhere hidden away. I look forward to the years to come in Sherman when we can get more artists out here and get the variety and just bring this life to town.”
Tom Shields, who is co-owner of the building as part of his local development partnership Los Hermanos with Don Knobler, said he’d also like to see more art in downtown.
“This is just one of several that I’d like to have here in Sherman,” Shields said of the mural. “It’s exciting to see what’s happening in downtown Sherman. This is just the beginning. Thank you Leadership Sherman for doing this. I want to do more and we will do more.”