Anna Galluzzi squinted behind her black heart-shaped sunglasses as she stared at the warehouse wall towering above her. The wall was covered in red squiggles and blue x’s and o’s she had painted to mark the doodle outline of her first large-scale public mural. 

It didn’t look like much as of Monday, but the wall will be covered in Galluzzi’s artwork by the end of December. 

“It’s a little daunting. But I’m excited, and I’ll figure it out as I go,” the Denton-based artist said, wringing her paint-stained apron with anxious excitement. 

The opportunity to paint the mural came through the Time Integral Mural Exhibition, an initiative by Sundance Square and Artspace 111 that will create a three-block long mural exhibit on the exteriors of two warehouses in downtown Fort Worth near Sundance Square.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sundance Square owners Ed and Sasha Bass created two new programs to support the local art community and provide financial assistance for artists, spokesman Bryan Eppstein said. Since then, the Basses have pushed to bring artists into the downtown area. 

This project was a prime opportunity for both the artspace to get involved and for budding artists to create public works, Artspace111 gallery manager Ariel Davis said.

The project will commission groups of artists who will each paint a mural that will collectively wrap around the exterior of the warehouses. Once completed, each mural will remain intact for public viewing for at least six months, Davis said. Eventually, after the first round of artists completes the murals, another assembly of artists will paint over them. 

If you go

What: Time Integral Mural Exhibition

Where: Two warehouses located at 500 E. 1st St. and 600 E. 2nd St.

When: Artists are scheduled to work on the project through March, but painting and projection completion times vary

Cost: Free

Website: Artists can apply here

Each artist will receive $2,000 to complete their portion of the project. In addition, Sundance Square is providing lifts and lift operators to help the artists paint the higher spots of the warehouses. 

The project is entirely funded by private donations from the Basses, Eppstein said. 

The first round of eight artists, including Galluzzi, has already been selected, but the project is already accepting applications for its second round of artists. To apply, artists must be from Texas and provide examples of their previous work. Sundance Square leadership decides who gets selected, Davis said. 

Sundance Square is seeking applications from artists with varying to no mural experience. Some of the artists commissioned have plenty of experience creating public murals, but for others, it’s their first time. 

Anna Galluzzi is one of eight artists selected by Sundance Square leadership to paint murals in downtown Fort Worth. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

For first-time muralists like Galluzzi, Davis said, this experience is an invaluable stepping stone into the public artist sphere. Although Galluzzi has helped other artists paint murals before, she’s never designed and solely executed her own before this project. 

“In the public art realm, if you’ve never done a big public art work (before) then it’s really hard to get one,” Davis said. “So giving this opportunity to artists who have never done one gives them the opportunity to go out and apply for other public projects.” 

Houston-based artist Armando Castelan, , 42, another muralist for the project, said branching out from painting to muraling was difficult because muralists generally have their own territory, and drama can run deep. It took him a while to integrate into the scene, but he did so by collaborating with other artists and establishing himself as a reliable partner. 

“Some of these artists have been doing it for 15, 17 years, so it took me a while to get into the whole scene just because when you do a few murals, you’re not immediately going to be embraced or respected until you’ve been doing it a while,” Castelan said. 

Galluzzi said this open call for artists helps create opportunities for not just new muralists but also marginalized artists like her, a nonbinary autistic person. 

“I hope we get more cool, underrepresented people making art in Fort Worth because there’s so much to offer, and there’s so much diversity in this area,” she said.  

Rather than having each mural as a long-term existing art piece, Sundance Square leadership preferred to have the exhibition as a project space that would continue to evolve over time, hence the exhibition’s name. As the project progresses, later artists have the option of building on the initial artists’ work and incorporating it into their own piece or completely painting over it, Davis said. 

Four artists will work on the mural project at a time, painting their own section of one of the warehouse buildings, Davis said. Every month or couple of weeks, another artist will be added to the rotation and begin their piece. 

The warehouse exteriors are divided into sections for the artists, and their murals will wrap around the buildings into a cohesive piece. Although the individual art works may touch or connect, each artist is given free range to create their own vision independent of a theme. 

Castelan is excited that the project doesn’t have a theme because most of his mural work is usually commissioned, meaning he’s given specific guidelines with sometimes only little room for creative play. 

When he’s able to make his work more personal, he usually incorporates surrealism and humor. For this project, he plans to try something new, potentially involving nature. 

Galluzzi doesn’t have a mural style yet, since this is her first time painting one. But her other artwork is usually driven by color and shape, and she said she chooses colors that make her happy because her work is focused on her mental health and how she works through mental trials. 

“I already sort of see my artistic practice as just wanting to color everything with pretty, fun colors, so getting to do a mural sort of creates the landscape of my fantasy world,” Galluzzi said with a giggle. 

“Getting to do a mural sort of creates the landscape of my fantasy world.”

Denton-based artist Anna Galluzzi

Every artist has about a month of time to create their mural, but it’s up to each individual how to use that allotted time. Castelan, for example, plans to use only a week of his time allotment. 

Davis said the plan is for the exhibition to continue indefinitely with a constantly rotating cohort of artists. In the future, the project may expand to multiple other locations within the Sundance Square area, Eppstein said. 

Public art projects like this are important, Castelan said, and leaving them on display long-term not only beautifies the city, it also makes art more accessible. When he’s out creating a mural, he’s used to being approached by people asking him questions and appreciating his work. 

“I think the community enjoys seeing the process, and then, you know, if you do a badass piece, they really really appreciate that,” Castelan said. 

Galluzzi said public art is especially important in areas like Downtown Fort Worth that may not look that visually appealing. She gestured to the streets surrounding the mural site, saying, “Everything is kind of brown and black and like falling apart. So I think having stuff like this kind of remakes these buildings and puts a nice new coat of paint on spaces long forgotten or kind of overlooked.” 


Fort Worth Report fellow Cecilia Lenzen may be reached at cecilia.lenzen@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cecilia Lenzen

Cecilia Lenzen is a senior at UT-Arlington, where she is studying journalism. She spent three years working at the student newspaper, The Shorthorn, and her reporting has also appeared in the Dallas Morning...

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