Heritage Community Garden Mural by Josh Eller and Emma Gottschalk, 2022
Photography by David Valdez
Artists Josh Eller and Emma Gottschalk were selected by the Georgetown Parks Department to paint their mural design on the historic cistern at Heritage Community Garden. A national Call for Artist Entries was published by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board, and the board recommended to the Parks Department the top 5 artistic designs from among 8 artist entries. From the top designs recommended by the Arts and Culture Board, the Parks Department selected the beautiful design now installed on the cistern.
Josh Eller and Emma Gottschalk are artists based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Creating murals is exciting for them because they see first-hand the way art brings communities together. Many of their favorite experiences as muralists have come from the conversations that are fostered as people stop to talk to them while they work. Besides murals, both artists have experience participating in visual art exhibitions and other public art projects. Their other artistic endeavors involve photography, graphic design, illustration, painting, printmaking, and more. The two artists were drawn to this project because they have seen the positive impact that the many community gardens located in St. Paul have made in their city.
The artistic design concept is reminiscent of vintage hand-painted signs with a modern twist. Painting a vibrant design that would pop against the gray, metal background and be a welcoming feature of the gardens is the main goal. After referencing the example cistern as a starting point, the artists used colors found in the garden and featured them within a classic oval composition. The banner behind the text is inspired by old signage with a modern typeface placed on top of it. Finally, the bounty of fruits and vegetables at the bottom provide a hopeful reminder of what the hard work of the growing season will produce.