A new mural by artist Octavio Logo Lopez
A new mural was just completed on the south side of town.
Artist Octavio Logo, a painter originally from Mexico City who moved to the area a few years ago, on Tuesday put the finishing touches on a yet-to-be-titled composition on the building formerly home to a spring shop at 704 S. Washington Ave.
Building owner Zara Niederman, who recently purchased the property, said he approached Logo about creating the mural after helping he and his family purchase a house in the the neighborhood. Niederman said he helped develop the concept for the mural, but wanted to give Logo the freedom to create whatever he wanted with the finished product.
“With all the news going on nationally these days, I wanted (a concept) that would represent other cultures, and show that we support everyone (in south Fayetteville),” Niederman said. “As far as the mural itself, though, I wanted Octavio to have an opportunity to do whatever he wanted, so he took the lead in making it the way it was.”
The mural showcases Logo’s signature colorful style, and depicts five figures – three prominent African American civil rights leaders in Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Maya Angelou, and two Native Americans.
Logo said he wanted to create an image that reflected some of the diversity and history of the area.
“South Fayetteville is one of the most diverse areas of the city, and the Trail of Tears crosses South Fayetteville,” he said. “Also, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is just one block from there, and Mayo Angelou has some roots here in Arkansas. I wanted to create something that honored all of those things.”
The female Native American figure to the left, Logo said, is an unnamed child from the Navajo tribe that Logo found in his research for the piece.
“She looks really proud and beautiful with all this jewelry, and I wanted to honor her,” he said. “She is also the only child in the picture, and I thought it was important to talk about children too.”
The male Native American on the right side of the pice is a Lakota/Sioux chief, Logo said.
Niederman said he is still working on his long-term plans for the building, that could eventually become a restaurant (or something else entirely). For now, it is under renovation to become an artist studio for Logo and at least one other artist. He said he hopes the mural remains in tact for a long time, though. He said he was a little anxious about how the project would be received by the neighborhood, but the reception has been overwhelmingly positive so far.
“The feedback from the neighborhood has been great,” Niederman said. “People have been really excited about it, so that has been good.”
Logo said he was overwhelmed by the amount of people from all walks of life who stopped by to talk about their connections to the building, and the neighborhood, as he worked on the piece over the last few weeks.
“I had people say they or their family members worked at the spring shop, or stop to talk about their fears about changes in the neighborhood,” he said.
“I got a feeling like I never have before painting murals (working on this project),” he said. “It was really beautiful.”
Logo signed the mural earlier on Tuesday (Sept. 18), but said he hasn’t decided on a name for the piece yet.
“I don’t have a name yet,” he said. “I guess it is finished, but not complete if that makes sense.”