Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Carlos Donjuan, a world-renowned artist, revealed his mural at ISP Studios in Irving on Friday, March 2.

His mural is the launch of the Better Block Initiative project in collaboration with the Irving Hispanic Chamber.

“The mural is inspired mainly by culture,” Carlos Donjuan said. “Since I was born in Mexico and raised in the United States, I think I learned that I want to embrace American culture but also learn more about my own Mexican culture at the same time.

“The colors on the mural represent the unique diversity we have in this country. It also represents me wanting to know more about the culture and wanting to expose it to more people in the community as well. With the colors, I hope that I was able to capture different elements of different cultures and communities, while also attracting younger kids.

“That’s one of the big things about the work,” Donjuan said. “We want to open a conversation to the arts with the younger generation a lot sooner than later. I just hope that more people get involved in the arts, and know these things are for everybody and not just the select few. We want to embrace the arts, because it’s very important for society and our culture.”

The mural was completed in five days.

Carlos Donjuan is an artist who has developed a unique style with unusual characters. His work can be seen around the world as well as in various galleries across the United States and on walls in several Dallas neighborhoods. He is also a senior lecturer at the University of Texas Arlington.

“We are celebrating the 20 year anniversary of ISP Studios,” Margie Aguilar, President, CEO, and owner of ISP Studios, said. “We are a women owned business, and we are so excited, because we are celebrating in a very big way. We are servicing and giving back to the community. What we are doing for the Latino community is we are collaborating with this world-renowned artist, and we are seeing that he is bring the museum murals to our building in south Irving.

“I serve in the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and this Better Block Initiative was really started by our board members. Some of them were part of the Bishop Arts District project. We’re starting our own Better Blocks, and we are kicking it off with our own building. We are hoping the rest of the businesses catch the vision and really dress up their community, buildings, and bring color into the neighborhood.

“This area can also be a destination,” Aguilar said. “Especially toward Irving Boulevard to the square. We are working really hard to make sure that happens within the future.”

ISP Studios originally started off as a television studio in 1982. It was a Christian television station until Univision, a Spanish station, brought the building.

“We really wanted our business to be in Irving, so we brought the building from Univision, and we’ve been here for 10 years now,” Aguilar said. “We wanted to keep the old station look and feel on the outside and especially on the inside. We wanted to keep the charm of it, so we kept the antennas outside of the building even though they are useless, but we definitely wanted to give it color and bring the artist to make it a destination. 

“The artist is not just bringing the murals, but the museums to the community by painting his murals. His artwork is all over the world, and what better way to celebrate our 20th than to give back and collaborate in a great way.

The mural is on the side of the ISP Studio building, and the painted satellite dishes are towards the front of the building.

“This event is to showcase what we can do with development in south Irving,” Mary Ann Kellam, President and CEO of the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said. “When Bishop Arts started their Better Block and Trinity Groves started their movement of the shops and restaurants, everybody started thinking what a great idea. We have so much opportunity here in Irving, and I think it’s time for us to move forward with it.

“When we talked about the south Irving initiative that we were hoping to do, Margie came up with the idea of the mural. Everyone wants to move forward with the development, and now it’s time to start doing something.

“My goal is to spark enough interest in the city and in the community to have us work together to see what we can do to create this and move forward,” Kellam said. “The opportunity is there. Someone just needs to champion it, and I believe that our chamber with the help of Margie is ready to do that. I just want everyone to see the mural, because it depicts her and her right hand person Dan Craig. Even though you can’t see their faces, the mural is them, and to see what this muralist did is kicking off something big for us.”

The mural which is painted on a black wall outside of ISP Studios, is painted with a graffiti twist. The mural has vibrant colors and animalistic shapes looking in various directions.

“This is not just the first step in adopting a block, but also addressing the needs of neighborhoods,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said. “We all have different neighborhoods, and they all have different flavors and different perspectives of where they want to go and where they want to be, and this mural just shows the flavor of this area.

“My hopes are that we always have neighborhoods that are willing to reach for the skies, and reach for their goals, and step up and say we want our identity, and we want to showcase what we have. That’s the big thing, bring us together. Irving is unique, because we are a city of neighborhoods. It’s a great opportunity for us to see different things, expand, and broaden our horizon.”

“I love murals,” Roselle Pliego, a blogger, said. “Especially around Irving, because there’s so few, so to have one so close by is actually amazing.”

ISP Studios is an award-winning bilingual production company specializing in services for training, image, marketing, and social media production.

“I’ve worked with ISP Studios before and they are just a great company and great business,” Dani Rios, a blogger, said. “I love what they are doing, and how they work with people, and their creative side, so I wanted to come out here to support them. I just think the mural is a cool way to have people come out and experience it. I feel like Irving doesn’t have a lot of cool areas, and since it’s up and coming, it’s going to become a trend.”