Abram Street / Business Improvement District (BID) / Cultural Arts
Feb 2, 2023
"Seek. Serve. Do." How Curnutt & Hafer Turned Their Motto into a Mural
Public art is essential in bringing a community to life, for it encompasses the history, culture, and vitality of the community. Downtown Arlington is home to over 30 unique works of public art throughout the district, and we just gained one more! Curnutt & Hafer, LLP, a law firm in Downtown Arlington, commissioned Arlington-native Chris Gonzalez to design a new mural that scales the East and North sides of their Abram Street headquarters. “Merciful Wisdom” was done in collaboration with the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation’s Business Improvement District (BID) grant.
”Merciful Wisdom” mural features an owl, symbolizing wisdom, next to Lady Justice as she holds a scale, which represents the impartiality of the court’s decisions. Furthermore, Latin phrases are inscribed on a ribbon that flows around the head of Lady Justice; these phrases translate to “The Law of Living,” “The Law of Believing,” and “The Law of Praying” and align with the firm’s motto “Seek. Serve. Do.” Firm partners, Kelly Curnutt and Doug Hafer, dedicated over a year to search for the right artist and right concept for the mural, for they wanted to create something that not only would elevate the visual appeal of their office exterior, but also serve as a gift to their Downtown Arlington neighborhood.
“After speaking with partners Curnutt & Hafer, I knew it would have to involve their passions,” said artist Chris Gonzalez. “When they mentioned ‘mercy and fair’ in the context of law, the first thing that popped into my mind was an owl and the wisdom which the owl symbolizes. The partners also wanted to have words that they live by and follow incorporated into the mural.”
Gonzalez, commercially known as C. Joseph Art, is no stranger to integrating a client’s vision with his own unique style of art, having completed the “Wilderness” mural in northern Arlington, one of the largest murals painted by a single artist in the metroplex.
The main goal of the BID Grant program is to enrich the lives of those who live, work, or visit Downtown Arlington by making improvements to the visual infrastructure of the city. These improvements include but are not limited to awnings, landscaping, signage, public art, and accessibility. Property owners are encouraged to regularly look for ways their business can improve to ensure patrons are receiving the best quality possible.
Additionally, Exterior upgrades, such as murals, serve as our introduction to newcomers and a source of pride for Arlington residents. Murals and public art have the unique capacity to give people a sense of place while upholding the soul and integrity of a community.
“Art has always been a storytelling medium,” said Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. “As the district continues to grow and develop, it is imperative that we find ways to preserve the history and identity of the businesses and people that hold us together.”
You can find more information about our numerous murals and public art installations by visiting the Arts & Culture tab on the Downtown Arlington website. Don’t forget to stop by and take a picture with Lady Justice!
About Downtown Arlington
Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington is where creativity, authenticity, and hometown pride thrive and drive what's next. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to the University of Texas at Arlington, a Tier One public research university, as well as prolific visual and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Stay in the know by subscribing to our e-newsletter and by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.