FORT WORTH, Texas — Ariel Davis has the largest feature at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. It isn’t a longhorn or pig or a refurbished tractor. It’s a 600-foot-long mural.
"It’s just been a little bit at a time,” said Davis.
Instead of a wall, her canvas was a street spanning from Pioneer Tower to Cattle Barn 1. The mural depicts parts of the stock show and rodeo from bull riders to roosters as clouds in the sky.
“I wanted to give them an opportunity to literally like walk on the sky,” Davis said. “We all live under the same sky and that’s where that kind of came from.”
Mitch Whitten with Visit Fort Worth said the mural, named "Stock Show Daydreaming" helps bring art to a new audience and new place.
“Public art really captures the imagination,” he said. “We wanted to involve more Fort Worth artists in the stock show. What better way than a Fort Worth-sized mural.”
“Partnering and doing this is a way to bring art to the masses,” Davis said. “It’s a great opportunity to grow and to reach and audience that may not step foot in a gallery.”
Painting started in December with a team of 20 people. They’ve gone through 100 gallons of paint, but the original idea came back in April when Davis met with the Visit Fort Worth team about a collaboration.
“I blurted out, ‘What if we painted the street’,” she said. “They were like, ‘OK, yeah, let’s do it’.”
Davis has painted murals before, including at Globe Life Field and on walls across Fort Worth, but nothing close to this. She even had to create a four-foot-long homemade paintbrush for the project.
“The scale and the scope of it is so different from anything that I’ve done before,” she said. “It’s tough to see exactly what everything is without really taking a look at it because they’re so big.”
The mural also draws life into what could be a main thoroughfare leading in and out of the stock show and rodeo but has sometimes felt like a forgotten alley.
Davis calls the work a lesson in perseverance. Now, the more than one million who visit the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo will walk across a reflection of her vision of the Western sky.
“It feels good being a part of this kind of reimagining of what the stock show looks like,” she said.