Alpine, Texas Community Guide 2019/2020 | Page 10

Alpine, TEXAS 10 Alpine Murals Highlight Local History, Art Stylle Read’s largest mural in Alpine is located on the east facing wall of the Prescription Shop. It’s a storyboard of Texas Ranger history in the Big Bend. by Shawna Graves From hand painted business signs to wild desert scenes, Alpine surfaces are covered with beautiful art telling the stories of its residents, past and present. Murals have a long history here and local artists are making sure the tradition continues, with several new installations up in the past year and more planned. Folk art adorns homes and businesses dating to the 1950s, and there is a growing gallery of work by Fort Worth-based Western artist Stylle Read, plus locally derived visions of the Big Bend on exteriors ranging from the south side of town to beautiful Kokernot Municipal Park. Most are concentrated in the downtown district roughly bounded by Sul Ross and Murphy Avenues to the north and south, and Garnet and 7th Streets to the east and west, but there are notable works all over, and one local artist is compiling all 40 + in a self- guided brochure. Downtown artist Nancy Whitlock, of Whitlock Studio of Fine Art located on 6th Street, is cataloging all pops of wall art she and other members of the Alpine Downtown Association can find. Whitlock celebrates the nontraditional and organic feel many of the works exhibit and is proud of the local connections they represent. In a quirky twist that is beginning to define the area, local graffiti is embraced by the business world, and a graffiti artist who goes by the name Peanut has been commissioned by local business owners to create a mural in his style. The colorful commission will be completed later this year. An example of one Alpine’s older murals that is often overlooked is located at the corner of F Ave and 10th Street on the old H&L Store. Done in a traditional Mexican style, it shows a romantic scene of a man serenading a woman surrounded by flowers. The building has long been a residence instead of a store and represents a time when numerous corner stores dotted the neighborhoods. Visitors are likely to see one of Stylle Read’s murals upon first entering town from the east. Read’s larger than life ode to Texas Rangers is painted on the wall of the Prescription Shop at the corner of Holland Ave and Bird St. and was just completed August 2019. It tells the story of Texas Rangers who lived in Big Bend and surrounding areas and its sepia tones invoke old western movies. Three of Read’s earlier works span Holland Ave. You’ll find the dramatic backdrop of Big Brewster and Mercado murals at the corner of 5th Street and Holland, with food trucks in the open lot between them. Both of these murals are Alpine icons and have been used on postcards and other memorabilia. Walk east a block from there to check out Read’s Cattle Drive mural on the west facing wall of Kishmish Plaza, showing off ranch brands of yesteryear and an iconic scene of cowboys on the open range. Read’s traditional western style is a stark contrast to another recent addition located at Kokernot Park on Fighting Buck Ave. The park is worth visiting for its massive shade trees, abundant picnic tables, newly equipped children’s playgrounds, walking loop, dog park, and the beautiful mural emblazoned on a water tank behind the soccer fields. Alpine-based artist Amanda Calhoun