North Texas Daily

City in color: Lunt paints Denton’s walls

City in color: Lunt paints Denton’s walls

November 12
01:49 2015

Danielle Garcia | Staff Writer

@UNTDanielleG

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Warren Lunt is the artist behind the new 74-foot-long mural on the side of the Bearded Monk. Meagan Sullivan | Associate Visuals Editor

Wearing a red sweatshirt and a black hood, Warren Lunt perches on a scaffold.

He patiently adds paint to cement, finishing the details of his roughly 74-foot-long mural on the side of Denton’s new growler bar, the Bearded Monk. The November day is sunny and breezy, and Lunt is calm as he paints. It’s a skill he has made a living off of for the past 40 years.

His cartoon-like mural has been a longstanding personal goal.

On Nov 1, Day of the Dead, any citizen was welcome to contribute to the painting and help raise funds for the Greater Denton Arts Council, but rain pushed the event to Sunday.

On Nov. 2, about 30 people showed up and helped raise $790 in t-shirt and craft beer sales.

“I thought it was awesome to be a part of getting do something that’s going to be in town for potentially years to come,” bike artist Mack Carter said.

Ben Esely, the owner of the Bearded Monk, hopes his initiative inspires more murals. He wants people to encounter beauty throughout their day and believes Lunt’s piece is a seed in the Denton community.

“I’ve wanted cool designs out in the community for a while now, and I finally had the funds and canvas to do it on,” Esely said.

After discovering Lunt on Instagram, Esely pitched his idea to the artist to paint the beer brewing process. But Lunt had a different idea: a cartoon-like Rube Goldberg-inspired machine for brewing beer.

Esely loved it.

“He’s full of amazing ideas all the time,” Esely said.

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The mural illustrates the process of brewing beer by Lunt and inspired by Rube Goldberg’s art. Danielle Garcia | Staff Writer

After a 40-year career, this wasn’t the first time Lunt pitched the idea for a painting inspired by one of his favorite artists, but it’s the first time he sold it. Like Goldberg’s art, the brewing machine performs a simple task in a really complex way, Lunt said. Rabbits, wheels, strings, balls, buckets and more bring the wall to life.

“The whole point of a Rube Goldberg is to over-do everything,” Lunt said.

Beginning in late August, Lunt dedicated about 50 hours to researching the brewing process, designing the machine and planning.

Take a walk around Denton and one will find other marks left by Lunt, and even his wife Jane Piper-Lunt, who is also a painter.

The mural on the side of Lucky Lou’s represents Lunt and his wife’s eight children. Take stroll behind Cartwright’s Ranch House, by the Mulberry Cantina’s logo, the back wall of 940s Kitchen & Cocktails, behind Bullseye Bike Shop, or the back of Dan’s Silver Leaf to get a look at some of Lunt’s other works.

In the 90s, Lunt designed the Sweetwater logo and he said that proved to the Denton community they should hire him. He had his first art show at West Oak Coffee Bar with colorful psychedelic paintings – one depicting the Beatles and another depicting Jesus.

At 61 years old, Lunt’s biggest obstacle is being able to transition from being known as a sign painter to an artist who sells art for art’s sake.

“I’m getting old it’s getting harder for me to do [sign painting] for a living, it’s all I’ve really ever done,” Lunt said. “That’s a hard transition to make.”

But Lunt, whose parents were also artists, said sign-painting beats working for a living.

“I want people to pay me to have fun,” Lunt said.

Featured Image: The mural illustrates the process of brewing beer and is inspired by Rube Goldberg’s art. Meagan Sullivan | Associate Visuals Editor

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