Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Passing Art to the Next Generation

Dallas—Ecosafe Labs, a corporate partner with Irving ISD, has an eye for art and a bit of fun. A mural on the wall of a conference room features the company’s three superheroes: Bug Buster, Rat Buster, and Roach Buster, painted by Dallas artist Robert Garza.

As one of many collaborative projects with the district, Yenyffer Gutierrez, an Irving MacArthur senior and Signature Studies Art/Creative student, was invited to create a multi dimension mural project with Mr. Garza. Their art extravaganza took place outside of the EcoSafe Labs offices in Dallas on March 14.

“Growing up, I’d always had art in my life,” Garza said. “My mom and grandpa were painters. I was always just drawn to making art, but I didn’t really pursue making it a career. It never seemed like a feasible career path.

“I focused more on the science and technology side of education. Over time, I realized there is a profitable living by making art, and I wanted to give back to communities I grew up in.”

Mentoring young artists like Gutierrez, who dabbles in all forms of art, is a one way for Garza to give back.

“I always wanted to reach out with teachers, educators or some sort of authority to help sponsor kids and students, show them that there is a way to live making art, if that’s what you want to do, without having to sacrifice your integrity by working in a job you don’t love,” Garza said. “That’s probably the most important thing I want kids to understand, you can definitely do what you love and live off of it.

“Being in a situation like this where I can help out Greg [Brandt] at a cool place like Ecosafe, which is something that’s close to my education, and being able to reach out to students and work with someone who’s also interested in art, it’s win-win for everybody.”

Garza is grateful for the opportunity to pass along some of what he learned over the years to the next generation of artists.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s my first time doing spray paint,” Gutierrez said. “I’m always open to any new techniques for art. I’m really excited about it. Hopefully, I do well too. It’s really cool having somebody professional teaching me.”

The duo teamed up to create waves on the front walk leading up to the front steps of Ecosafe’s Dallas office, which feature an ocean scene.

Through Ecosafe’s partnership with Irving ISD, the company collaborated with students at Nimitz, Irving and MacArthur High Schools where students created and sold environmentally friendly cleaners with profits going into a scholarship fund.

Ecosafe Labs’ CEO Gregory Brandt envisioned positively impacting students, the district, and community at large when creating the partnership official last fall.

“[The collaboration is] going wonderfully,” Brandt said. “We’re really excited to be helping students and to be helping the school. At the end of the day, we want to help students be able to find their passions and help them achieve their goals.”

In the lobby of Ecosafe’s headquarters there is a spray-painted mural detailing the history of the company and other artwork.

“Art is really important to us,” Brandt said. “We feel it expresses our message, and it’s very important for the community. It inspires people. It provides joy.

“It’s wonderful to have a student come here to work with one of our muralists, because at the end of the day it’s all about bringing communities together and having something that everyone can enjoy and be inspired by. I always enjoy seeing art being created. It’s an awe-inspiring process.”