Mural program continues to bloom in downtown Dayton

Crosby artist Michael Criswell painted this beautiful mural on the wall of Dayton Family Medical Clinic on the 200 block of N. Main St. in Dayton.

Dayton has added yet another downtown mural with the most recent being a wall of blooming flowers on the Dayton Family Medical Clinic building, located at 205 N. Main St.

Designed by artist Michael Criswell of Crosby, the new mural features brightly-colored, oversized flowers. Criswell completed the mural over a two-day period in November.

He was commissioned to paint the mural by the Dayton Community Development Center, which now has turned over the mural program to the Dayton Enhancement Committee, according to Dayton Mayor Caroline Wadzeck.

“The design for the flower mural was approved by the DCDC board. It’s a collaboration of two different designs that Mr. Criswell put together. We approved it beforehand and had an idea of how it would turn out,” Wadzeck said. “We knew it was going to be really good but it turned out even better than we expected.”

The mural is one of five in the city of Dayton, and Wadzeck is hoping that many more will be added in the coming months.

“We are hoping that other businesses will decide to paint murals on their buildings. We have about 20 buildings downtown that would be perfect for this. If everyone would get involved, that would be wonderful,” she said.

The goal of the mural program is to get Dayton noticed as a city of pride and an inviting atmosphere, Wadzeck said.

“We want murals that make people smile when they see them,” she said. “I was downtown the other day and noticed some moms taking photos of their children in front of the flower mural, and I was happy to see that.”

The first mural added to the city has been in place for years. It was painted by Dayton ISD librarian and local artist Paula Fielder. It features Dayton Broncos and is painted on the wall of the J. Rollins Construction office near Thrif-Tee Food Center on FM 1960. The second mural is part of the Veterans Memorial Wall at the Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton. The third, called “Higher Ground,” depicts the 2015 cattle drive from the Trinity River basin through Dayton. Higher Ground was painted by Mary Fielder Taylor, the daughter of muralist Paula Fielder. The “Bear in the Bathtub” mural by Houston artist Cherry Meekins also was added to the Dayton landscape in November 2021. Painted on the side of the Bear Plumbing building located at 106 Cook St., “Bear in the Bathtub” was funded by business owners Jimmie and Samantha Cullars.

The next one will likely be on the wall of Texas Kountry Kitchen on the 300 block of N. Main.

“We have already had several submissions for that one,” Wadzeck said.

As the list of murals continues to grow, the City will eventually have them listed under the “Things to Do” section on the City’s website, https://www.cityofdaytontx.com/. The website also lists the location of the Dayton Stars that can be found throughout the city. To date, the Dayton Enhancement Committee has distributed 153 of the large concrete stars. Most of the stars are painted with original themes and designs. In addition to the local museums, Wadzeck hopes to see the City’s historical markers posted on the website in the coming weeks.

“We started revamping the website but we have more work to do,” she said. “We have established a hashtag of #daytripdayton that is being used on all the murals.” The hashtag allows for an easy search of the murals on social media platforms.

If anyone is interested in speaking to the Dayton Enhancement Committee about a mural, they are asked to contact Wadzeck at cwadzeck@hotmail.com or Susan Simmons at pumpkinsfall@yahoo.com.

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