The Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Ave., is a step closer to becoming a little more colorful outside.
The city’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission approved up to $12,000 for a mural on the outside to match one that was painted last year.
The Surprise City Council will have the final say at its next meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Artist BacPac, whose real name is Jeremie Frank, is the artist the commission picked to complete the project. BacPac, the former guitarist for influential 1970s UK punk band The Raincoats, also completed the “Swimming with Porpoise” design on the western portion of the north-facing wall in July 2020.
The “Swimming with Porpoise” mural features three dolphins swimming with a woman in an underwater ocean scene.
The original mural was a hit with residents, but arts commissioners felt the eastern portion of the wall needed some loving, too.
Commissioner Kathie L. Morgan said she wanted to see a continuation on the other side but with people. Commissioners favored children who were a mix of ages, gender and ethnicity to “welcome in all groups,” Morgan said during the Aug. 2 arts commission meeting.
“She personally did not want it to look like an advertisement for tourism, but yet there is that aspect of inviting the community in,” Morgan said about BacPac’s new design. “So, I think she struck a nice balance.”
For the proposed new painting, Commissioner Margaret Lieu she liked the renderings of the young kids but preferred an odd number of kids, instead of four. She also wanted the kids to be “interacting” with each other more in the piece or suggested the space between the kids be more uneven.
“Her renderings don’t do her artwork justice at all,” said Rhiannon Miett, the vice chair for the arts commission.
Jason Stone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.