The Trimble Tech art students couldn’t curb their enthusiasm for the project.
A dozen aspiring artists recently painted twinkling stars, flowing fish and happy woodland creatures on curbs near the Trinity Trails as part of a public art program sponsored by the Tarrant Regional Water District.
Their “canvases” were near the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Pappasito’s Cantina near Trinity Park and Interstate 30.
“People complimented them on the job they were doing,” said Tina Nikolic, TRWD’s neighborhood and recreational enhancement coordinator. “We wanted to give them a platform to contribute to the community.”
Over the past few years, the TRWD has embarked on an effort to amplify the experience of hikers and bikers using the trails that border the floodway in Fort Worth.
Twenty-one professional artists were commissioned about three years ago to paint murals on structures – some up to 12 feet tall – along the Trinity as part of the “Painting the River: A Trinity Trails Mural Gallery.”
The artists painted on the floodgates and other structures along 13 miles of the river that were often eyesores that attracted graffiti. Those artists were paid and selected through a monthslong nationwide competition.
The mural gallery has been a big hit with Trinity Trail patrons.
So, TRWD wanted to use the same practical, but artistic approach, to the painting of the curbs.
TRWD wanted to paint the curbs, which wrap around trees that were saved when building the Trinity Trail, to make them stand out, highlighting a possible trip hazard.
But, instead of just painting them white or a solid bright color, the District decided to seek a creative solution.
The Trimble Tech students, as part of their art class curriculum, competed among themselves for the right to put their designs on the curbs. Their teacher selected the winners. It took four hours to paint the mini murals.
Nikolic said TRWD is looking for other opportunities for novice artists.
“The maintenance is low. The cost is low. But the impact is big,” she said.
“We’re committed to doing more public art.”