A chance meeting results in colorful wall mural
“The world needs more beauty.”
With that stated belief, Beck Service Center co-owner Ben Stallings had been looking for an artist for several months when a chance meeting with an artist from New Orleans in January took place.
Young mural artist Henry Lipkis spotted a used Honda Civic online at a Southside car lot and had also looked up a vehicle service shop online that could look it over. He stopped by Beck Service Center at 6025 Madison Avenue and began talking with Stallings.
“The car needed some work which we did, but he was an artist and I looked at some of his work online,” Stallings said. ‘It turned out; he was the right guy after all.”
Lipkis returned to New Orleans for his busiest time of the year, Mardi Gras, and made the return trek to the Southside in early May.
“I sent him (Lipkis) an estimate by e-mail that we agreed upon,” Stallings recalled. “I had wanted something done to those walls that added beauty.”
Lipkis returned earlier this month with his truck, variety of paints, spray paint-gun and compressor.
He painted the two north walls on the commercial business center at the corner of Edgewood and Madison avenues and paid homage to Indiana’s vast farmlands that are the heart of Hoosierland.
It took him more than a week to paint the two walls that are 18 feet high and 60 and 130 feet wide. The colorful walls are visible to motorists and passers-by who are east- or west-bound on Edgewood Avenue.
Previously the one wall had a few small paintings, but Stallings wanted a mural that would stand out and add beauty to the northside of the building that houses The Toy Drop, Subway and Beck Service Center.
Thanks to a chance meeting between a New Orleans artist and a Southside business owner, two exterior walls of a Southside business center are now attracting attention of motorists and passers-by at the southeast corner of Edgewood and Madison avenues.
Lipkis said he wanted to be an artist in high school and later studied illustration. He specializes in acrylic and spray artwork, and paint on canvas.
“It was somewhat challenging because of the weather,” Lipkis said. “It took a little bit longer than I had planned, but I think everyone will appreciate it.”
He has collaborated with several groups in the 9th Ward and Mardi Gras Indians to for many cultural illustrations and wall murals.