North Texas Daily

Local artists paint one big canvas of a city

Local artists paint one big canvas of a city

April 21
02:38 2016

Victoria Baghaei | Staff Writer

@Chorizotacoss

Denton is filled with all kinds of talent, whether it be music that flows from the Square or the art surrounding it, and local artist Mick Burson has forever bonded with Denton through the murals he has painted across town.

Courtesy | Mick Burson

Mick Burson | Courtesy

His colorful murals cover the walls around Denton, giving the city a comfortable, bright and artistic vibe. Many of these murals are done by local artists and UNT students looking for ways to get their work out into the world, or even just to get the chance to paint at large scale.

Burson’s passion began in his home town of Waco, where he would sometimes express his artistic brightness by doing things he knew could get him in trouble.

“I used to paint freight trains and I did that for a long time. I would do graffiti work on them because it was such a large canvas. It made them look better,” Burson said. “I’ve gotten in trouble a few times where they’ve made me pay fines to have the work painted over. It was good practice.”

Even though he started painting public venues against the law, Burson is more than an criminal with an eye for art. He is a UNT alumnus who graduated with a degree in painting and drawing. Burson now plans to attend graduate school to get his masters at the University of New Mexico.

He has also started painting legally in Waco for small businesses.

“I painted for a while in Waco, and I would tell them that I have this drawing and idea and I also have the paint, so they would just let me paint for free,” Burson said. “There were a few paid jobs here and there in Waco, but I didn’t really start getting paid for my work until I started working in Denton.”

Burson’s style falls in the geometric side of art, grabbing inspiration from the fact that he is freely allowed to paint his own designs and do what he wants to do.

“Sometimes I have to get stuff approved, but that’s okay,” Burson said. “It’s usually never a problem.”

Mick Burson’s murals can be seen all over the city of Denton. The houses mural can be seen on Oak street on the Downtown Square. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Mick Burson’s murals can be seen all over the city of Denton. The houses mural can be seen on Oak street near the square. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

His first mural was done on a greenhouse near The Forum in 2010. A stack of paper transforming into leaves blowing away used to occupy the wall until the paint peeled off. Burson has also done multiple works for 35 Denton as well as for the city of Denton, sign work for local businesses and works with other artists.

The College of Visual Arts and Design has a nationally acclaimed art program. Because of that, Denton is filled with people excited to get their work exposed. When asked about the competitiveness in getting painting jobs here, Burson had expressed little worry.

“The first few years that I was here, I didn’t really know anyone who was painting walls. Now it’s blown up; there’s more diversity and it’s great,” Burson said. “There’s plenty of walls around, so it’s great to see other people’s work coming out.”

Fellow local artist Shane McAnally, 34, has painted some murals in Denton, including the sloped wall on Scripture and Bonnie Brae. McAnally is also enthusiastic about the rising artwork that is flowing around Denton.

“I’m excited that Denton is embracing this art and culture and giving local artists a chance to interact with their town,” McAnally said. “I think the murals that have gone up recently around Denton reflect the vibrant and diverse local art scene that really makes the city unique.”

Mick Burson’s greeting from Denton mural is painted on the wall facing Oak Street Draft Houses open patio. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Mick Burson’s greeting from Denton mural is painted on the wall facing Oak Street Draft Houses open patio. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Thomas Newson, another local artist and UNT drawing and painting graduate, was eager to express what the art means to him.

“The fact that we see real artists painting our walls with their original designs, not some hired paint company who just generated a design and had three unhappy workers come out and paint it,” Newson said. “No. The art is done with love, with true passion.”

Burson has been one of many to leave a lasting mark on Denton, being a part of something that makes the town truly special. And that sentiment is shared among several local talents.

“That’s what these artists do for the city,” Newson said. “They make it bright.”

Featured Image: Mick Burson’s greeting from Denton mural is painted on the wall facing Oak Street Draft Houses open patio. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

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