A giant mural of a red wagon loaded with familiar Little Rock landmarks —the Simmons Tower, the Junction Bridge, the state Capitol, Esse purse museum (a nod to South Main), One Union National, the River Market, a trolley — was dedicated this afternoon at Union National Plaza at Fifth and Main streets. Jason Jones’ 5,000-square-foot mural was commissioned by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership as part of its “InspiredLR” public art initiative.
Gabe Holmstrom, director of the DLRP, said the mural is the first of several to come, and that Jones, who won the $30,000 commission in a competitive process, “hit the nail on the head” with his work.
Jones, of Fayetteville, has another mural in downtown Little Rock: the insect/robot hanging artwork in the 300 block of Main Street. The mural is temporary. He has painted a number of murals in Northwest Arkansas, including the giant octopus in Bentonville and the gas-masked jackrabbit on the Razorback Greenway bike trail. He said his son’s red wagon (abandoned now) inspired the image, which he painted using a grid and lots of math. The painting has been dubbed “Playtime.” Jones added that it’s the largest mural he’s painted.
Mayor Frank Scott hailed the mural as a draw to the heart of Little Rock and said art promoted diversity.