IN This Together
Brooks School Park Art Wall Inspires Fishers Community
Local artist Travis Neal wants everyone to know “we are all in this together.”
It’s a message he likes so much he painted it on the new Fishers Art Wall at Brooks School Park.
“I (painted it) when I was on site the weekend of May 30 and 31,” Neal says. “The 40 by 5 wall took about 16 hours, from start to finish.”
It was a job Neal was personally selected for.
“Marissa Deckert of the Fishers Parks Department contacted me about the project,” Neal says. “They were looking for someone to create the inaugural mural for their new art wall. As for the concept, their only request was that the hashtag be included in the design somehow, but the rest was left to me. I decided to make that message the primary focus and build the rest of the design around that message.”
Neal is pleased with his work.
“I always try to incorporate some element of depth and perspective into my walls, with some parts drifting away, while others jump right out at you,” Neal says. “I also wanted this wall to grab people’s attention, so I used a lot of vivid colors and hard lines to help make that happen.”
Neal is happy he was chosen to paint the park wall.
“I was mostly just honored to be the first artist featured on the art wall,” Neal says. “2020 has not been a great year, no doubt about that. At the time the wall was commissioned and designed, this was simply a message about recovery in the struggle with COVID 19. Now we are seeing even more challenges, so I think it puts the piece into a larger context and gives a deeper meaning of optimism, hope and togetherness.”
Neal has already had positive feedback from the public for his artwork.
“The wall has barely been completed a week, and the response has already been incredible,” he says. “It seems to have really struck a chord. I didn’t realize the enthusiasm people would have for this message. It’s an amazing feeling to have one of my walls speak to so many people on that level.”
Neal is currently busy with numerous art projects.
“I’ve been an artist all my life but found my true passion of large-scale work right after my wife and I moved into our Broad Ripple home,” Neal says. “I painted my first mural, a 12-inch reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, as a tribute to my mother, and I have been painting murals ever since. For the ‘Monday through Friday gig,’ I manage a sign shop in Carmel (Signarama). It works out well, giving me a day-to-day exercise in creativity and leaving my nights and weekends for my other artistic endeavors.”
One of those endeavors was his traffic control box, Aquarium Surprise, at Pocket Park, 8700 E. 116th St. in Fishers.
“I was also one of the four artists chosen to paint murals around the new development, Fishers District, on 116th Street,” Neal says. “That will be my next project, and I expect to begin work soon.
To view more of Travis Neal’s artwork, visit nealartistry.net.