Public Art in Elgin

Public art adds enormous value to the cultural, aesthetic and economic vitality of a community. It contributes to a community’s identity, fosters community pride and a sense of belonging, and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.

Below are introductions and background to some of the diverse public murals around Elgin TX.

Texas Horned Lizard

Narrator - Amy Miller

Original art by William B. Montgomery

Mural painted by Sarah Blankenship

Funding by Art in Public Places – City of Elgin

Bill's fascination with horned lizards...

Texas Horned Lizards were once found throughout the state of Texas. Common in central and east Texas, a perfect storm of invasive fire ants, habitat loss, pesticides, and over-collecting resulted in the disappearance of this iconic creature from the eastern half of the state. Perhaps the biggest impact was when their main food, the harvester ant (or “red ant”) was eliminated from many areas when people started poisoning fire ants. There are still thriving populations in south and west Texas.

I’ve been fascinated by horned lizards since I found my first “horny toad” in East Texas and they have starred in a number of my paintings and etchings. The roadrunner, another favorite, and a common Texas resident, eats lizards, insects and other small animals—including the occasional horned lizard. They are also a potential predator of the coral snake, pictured below the prickly pear. This snake is common in many parts of Texas. They prey on other snakes. Although their venom is very potent and they will certainly bite if stepped on or grabbed, they are shy snakes which prefer to flee rather than hold their ground.

Laurie Jones Mural 28 North Main Street

Narrator - Melissa Ladd

Original art by: Melissa Ladd

Funding by: Elgin Main Street Program – City of Elgin

The story behind the mural

Mr. and Mrs. Jones owned 28 North Main Street and ran the Jones Drug Pharmacy for many decades in downtown Elgin. I have been fascinated by Mrs. Jones (Annie Laurie Huston Jones) since I purchased the building in 2015. During the renovation process many people would stop by and tell me stories of the building, and the Jones.

Sherri Marshall Rivers brought me some of Mrs. Jones belongings, which I have along with a diary Mr. Jones had in 1912. He was a pharmacist and they had this building as a drug store and general store. I believe no one other than the Jones have “lived” in my building. I wanted to acknowledge her and keep her a part of the history by creating this piece. She is my alley’s patron saint! Taken from an original photo found in Mrs. Jones belongings.

– Melissa Ladd, building owner and artist

LGBT + Mural

Ashley Smith - Artist

As a local artist and gallery owner, I have a goal to cultivate and nurture creativity as well as inclusion within my community. This LGBT + mural is part of a Girls Scouts Gold Award and is led by Heather Miller. I am extremely honored to have been selected to paint the mural and assist in spreading awareness and promoting knowledge surrounding the LGBT community.

– Ashley Smith, The Clever Tiger

Find out more from project leader Heather Miller

Thanks to public donations, the gold project has raised over $5,000 and the mural was be painted in September 2020. In this video Heather talks at the very beginning of her project.