When visiting Discovery Green, it’s always a good idea to walk around for a bit because you’ll never know what you’ll find.
For example, you might discover the mural currently on the back of the skate shack next to the Anheuser-Busch Stage. Created by Gabriel Prusmack as part of the Big Walls, Big Dreams live mural festival. The artwork is titled “Be Free” and will be on the shack through March 17, 2023.
The mural features an astronaut surfing the cosmos with his friends – a couple of night herons. Prusmack said he was asked to paint a Houston-themed mural and he immediately thought of space travel and bird migration. Then, he was inspired to throw a little bit of himself into the mix. He’s the surfer type, always ready to rip open a world of imagination.
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Prusmack’s mural at Discovery Green is representative of a lot of his work. It’s bold and colorful but intricate with lots of layering, color blocking and geometric shapes in unexpected places. It’s the kind of mural that invites you to spend time with it to see which elements you might have missed on your first glance.
“I fully love painting with colors and the more colors the better,” Prusmack said. “I like painting a lot of joy in my work. I surf, skateboard, play tennis, golf and stay in shape. I have a wife and two little girls, and I teach them that being a kid in life is the best thing. I teach them to recognize the kid in themselves and how to play.”
That playful element shines through in the “Be Free” mural at Discovery Green and it fits perfectly with the vibe Houstonians and visitors have come to expect at Discovery Green.
Prusmack, who lives in Galveston, but paints all over the country, said he’s been a painter for 20 years, but only decided to do so full time about five years ago. It took a leap of faith, and he admits it was scary to make the adjustment to full-time painting, but it’s going well for him.
“People want murals more so now because murals make an atmosphere and now more than ever people want a better atmosphere,” he said.
Prusmack’s outlook on life mirrors Discovery Green Conservancy’s mission which is to provide a venue for artists and others to showcase Houston’s diverse traditions while providing opportunities for magic, community, and healthy living. Murals like his “Be Free” creation make the joy possible.
For more opportunities to experience public art at Discovery Green visit www.discoverygreen.com/art.