BANGS— S4 Feed & Supply Store Owners Derrick and Sara Spivey hope their recently commissioned mural sparks an art movement in downtown Bangs.
Currently a work in progress by local artist Calina ‘Cal’ Mishay Johnson, the mural should be complete by S4 Feed & Supply Store’s May 5 grand opening and will be Bangs’ first modern downtown mural.
“I’ve lived here my whole life. I love this town,” said Sarah Spivey, co-owner and an emergency room nurse practitioner at Brownwood Regional Medical Center. “ I used to ride my bike around every day, all day when I was younger. This town is my life, my heart … We bought this for our retirement. I felt like it needed Calina. I felt like it needed that touch. In Coleman, Roscoe, Abilene, her work is breath taking.”
Spivey said she contacted Bangs Mayor Eric Bishop to make sure painting a mural did not violate city ordinance and in the process set off what could be an art movement to downtown Bangs. The mural is located on the north side of the building. Although not slated to finish until May 2, due to cold weather, Spivey believes more business owners will soon follow suit.
“My goal was to add some beauty, some fun, something people want to come and take a picture by,” Spivey said. “It’s something that screams this is S4 Feed store. This is what we’re about – beautiful, hometown business. I appreciate [Johnson’s] art and we do not have anything like that downtown. Eric owns a couple of buildings in downtown and he said ‘That has been my dream.’ We share that aspiration.”
The 94-year-old S4 Feed and Supply Store building began as an armory for the Bangs National Guardsmen; which is fitting considering Derrick Spivey currently serves as a sergeant in the Texas National Guard. In 1928, the building transferred to private hands, serving as a grocery store, laundry mat, auto garage and parts store and finally a farm supply store, which is what the Spiveys kept it when they purchased the building in March.
“I appreciate what God gives us to look at,” Spivey said. “I really wanted our logo involved. I really wanted flowers involved and, a little down the line, I really want to incorporate the fact we’re veteran owned and operated. I would love to tell the story of this building and how it was a National Guard post for soldiers. It makes me feel like I am contributing to a portion of society. In the medical field, I don’t get to do that. People are sick everyday, but I don’t get to help people feel like [Johnson] helps people feel with her abilities.”
Johnson said she has painted murals for two years, breaking ground on potential art scenes in Abilene, Coleman and other surrounding areas. In the past weeks, Johnson worked closely with the Spiveys to create a mural that reflects the creative vision and values of the Spiveys as well as the citizens of Bangs
“It’s not only an art purchase, because of my style and I get to be creative, it helps the community and the business that invests in the mural,” Johnson said. “With us, it was sitting down talking about the feed store and some of her favorite murals of mine have had a lot of flowers … It was an introduction to Bangs on street art and hopefully they want more of it.”
Through her work, Johnson said she doesn’t simply want to inspire an art movement in downtown Bangs. She wants to inspire and artist movement and demonstrate to the children of Bangs art is not limited to a canvass and there are opportunities to create all around them.
“I did not know until much later in life that it was possible,” Johnson said. “We had one artist in our town. If I can be that one artist that they see to know there are other ways and other things they can do, then that’s cool.”