Artist: Lacey Hennessey
GJ: How were you contacted to create this piece?
LH: The city of Simpsonville put out a call for qualifications for artists to submit a resume of work. Several of my followers and supporters on social media shared the post with me, and I quickly jumped on the opportunity. The city then went through an interview process to narrow down candidates for the final muralist.
GJ: What is the inspiration for this piece?
LH: Before starting the mural, I created a survey to be shared with the arts committee, who then shared it with other members of the community. I also put out a call on my social channels. The feedback from those questions about the town culture, history, sources of entertainment and overall feelings about the town resulted in multiple icons showcasing all that Simpsonville has to offer. There was a strong desire for interaction within the art piece, and I knew the plaza was a gathering spot for families, so the balloons and dog cater to fun photo opportunities.
GJ: What type of paint did you use to create the mural?
LH: This particular mural is comprised of Duration exterior acrylic latex and Montana Spray cans, with an additional UV and weather mural protectant for a finish. Prior to starting, Matt the Driveway Guy, a trusted local resource to me, cleaned the wall with a soft powerwash to secure a fresh canvas.
GJ: How long did it take to create, and what was the creation process like?
LH: This wall was about 50 feet wide and roughly 15 feet tall at its highest point. I started on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and completed the final brush stroke to the design on Sunday morning, Sept. 13. I still haven’t figured out how to control the weather, so, unfortunately, I had a few rainy days in between. To keep the ball rolling I would come back in the evenings after the afternoon showers. What a bonus it would be. The location is right across from the local favorite, the Ice Cream Station, so kids would come watch while eating their ice cream and ask questions. One of my favorite parts of this one was letting them hop in for a few brush strokes. Even some parents got into it. For a mural that I hope to be around for more than 20 years, it will be so fun for them to say they contributed for years to come. I love that.
GJ: What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
Without a doubt, it’s the painted Mylar balloons. I love this photo op. I have always wanted to paint them, and this was the first time I tried, so to have a vision come to life and on such a grand scale, it was really fun. Plus, nothing makes me happier than watching others enjoy the fruits of your labor. Having complete strangers share their enthusiasm with you makes my job even more rewarding than it already is on its own.
GJ: When was it completed?
LH: Sept. 13, 2020.
It is located in an alleyway on South Main Street, across from the Ice Cream Station in Simpsonville.