It may be commonplace for artists to receive pictures of people posing with their work, but they’re usually not from Mark Zuckerberg. That’s the world of Lesli Marshall, a mixed-media artist and curator, whose mural work covers large walls in the Facebook headquarters. The city of Dallas, however, is Marshall’s real canvas.
Her biggest undertaking will be Dallas’ Virgin Hotel, slated to open next September. Marshall curated the art for the entire building, filling 266 rooms, the two Richard Branson suites, and outdoor areas with “sexy and playful” works. “All the art has been approved,” she says excitedly.
Marshall is a familiar figure in the North Texas art scene, one who employs local artists for hundreds of jobs each year. But the Virgin Hotel job, she says, most likely would’ve gone to a high-powered firm had she not fought for the opportunity once she caught wind of the project.
It would be fair to say that Dallas-Fort Worth appreciates good art. Murals have cropped up in nearly every corner of interest and neighborhood with heart, and Lesli Marshall, owner of Articulation Art, has played a big role in beautifying the city. Just stop by Pecan Lodge for proof; Marshall painted that wall as part of last year’s 42 Murals Project, and she tells the Observer that the project paved the way for her most ambitious job to date.
“There was a lot of press around 42 Murals, and I guess from that press and things going on I was contacted by a design firm in California,” Marshall says. “They had seen my style of work on the Pecan Lodge mural and they really liked the hands and kind of the weird lines and all the colors.”
Marshall was not aware of who she would be working for until the Californian design firm called her to let her know she had the job. She’d be designing a mural for the lobby of Facebook’s Fort Worth Data Center. Mock-ups were ordered and Marshall went to work, pushing herself further than ever before. This mural was her first to incorporate sculpture and video as well.
Victory Park is, once again, a changing neighborhood, and the ongoing change is embracing the art world. Five new murals, created by Dallas artist Lesli Marshall, recently appeared on the parking garage of Victory Park Lane.
"Victory Park is going through an amazing transformation, and the color and life in these murals reflect the new vibe of the area," Marshall said. "It's always exciting to stumble upon art in unexpected areas. In a parking garage, which is usually boring and industrial, people will discover these giant murals and interact with them."
The murals follow the recent unveiling of Victory Park's first public artwork, an 8-foot-tall steel sculpture in the "V-sign" hand gesture, created by California artist Nathan Mabry.
You can expect more public art in the coming months, including a sculpture by Las Vegas artist Tim Bavington, to be installed in the fall near the W Dallas-Victory Hotel.
Shaping DFW: Lesli Marshall
Articulation Art's Lesli Marshall has a unique approach
to combining art and commerce that's beautifying
DFW and supporting local artists, at the same time.
We’ve seen a lot of artist studios before, but none quite as ultra cool as Lesli Marshall’s. With all of the stylish treasures she brought back from Marrakech, we thought to ourselves, this girl needs to be Coveteur’d asap. Lesli has such an infectious energy and it’s the kind of studio where you could lounge for hours, sip wine, and just watch her paint. Her paintings are complex, have infinite texture, and the compositions reflect the colors and patterns she came across while traveling through Morocco. You can see the collection at her upcoming show Lumières this Saturday March 23rd at the Mitchell Lofts from 7 to 10 PM.
DESIGN DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Anyone else counting down the days until Virgin Hotels newest property
opens up shop in the Dallas Design District? And, if you're anything else like us, one of the
aspects we're looking most forward to is all of the amazing art that the building will boast,
thanks so the incredible eye + expertise of mixed-media artist and curator,
Lesli Marshall. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Lesli to learn more about her,
her many talents, and what she's got in store for the new hotel that will soon call the DDD home
Lesli Marshall grew up an athlete, not an artist. But after burning out on sports in high school, she tapped her creative side in college and fell in love with art.
It took her years to find her creative stride and says she’s still far from the best. However, she’s figured out the art of the sale and how to pitch herself for huge projects, murals and curation work and has found major success calling Facebook, Coachella, Tom Thumb, 7-Eleven and Virgin clients.
We recently sat down with the business savvy creative and founder of Articulation Art to learn about her starving artist days, rock bottom moments and how she’s now designing the life of her dreams. Listen to our Fridays with Flea Style podcast episode with her below — and learn a few extra fun facts about this girlboss below!
VACATION’S & TRAVEL
There’s a herd of happy blue elephants swaggering by the old Brake & Clutch Warehouse at 3601 Main St in the Dallas enclave of Deep Ellum. True, the day began with a pale ale at BrainDead Brewing up the road, but this is no delusion. Deep Ellumphants was the first cab off the rank in what would become known as the 42 Murals Project.
That was the reasoning behind Nationstar's decision to move its corporate headquarters and 1,300 employees from Lewisville to Dallas' new Cypress Waters development earlier this yea
Now, Nationstar has about 3,000 employees (or about half of its workforce) working in a smaller footprint of four buildings in North Texas and building its company culture with artwork in an industry not typically known for being cutting edge.
"We went out to Silicon Valley and toured Facebook and Google's campuses," Executive Vice President and CMO Kevin Dahlstrom told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive tour of the company's new Dallas headquarters building.
"I was at Facebook and I saw in their main courtyard a graffiti artist at work and I talked to them about it and they said it was an artist-in-residence program," Dahlstrom told me. "I thought it would be an amazing thing to do here."
Nationstar has 2.4 million customers throughout the United States and is the largest non-bank mortgage company with plans to continue on its growth trajectory. At one time, Nationstar was known as Centex Home Equity, which was based in Dallas. Dahlstrom brought the idea into the company's board room and got approval for the program, which would bring in three artists at a time for 30 days to bring art to three blank walls within the building. Lesli Marshall is the curator for Nationstar's artist-in-residence program. "This is the first time that I've been able to do an artist-in-residence program," Marshall said, who has been working at directing corporate art programs in North Texas for eight years. "I'm excited and I hope this something that other companies will do in Dallas-Fort Worth."
By this month, Nationstar will have 32 art installations with its artist-in-residence program, which has a theme centered on an artist's interpretation of what home is to them. This theme has brought a variety of interpretations -- from the abstract to the literal -- to the walls of Nationstar, created by artists with homes throughout the world.
PAPER CITY MAG
Victory Park has a bright future ahead. The Downtown Dallas neighborhood just got a lot more colorful with the debut of five new murals by local artist Lesli Marshall. The vibrant additions are part of Victory Park’s redevelopment efforts to bring more energy and character to the urban district.
The eye-catching paintings depict geometric and imaginative portraits of wildlife – a phoenix sweeping over mountaintops, a pair of rainbow-hued fish swimming among diamonds, a surreal longhorn with two faces.
Marshall and her team members, Sarah Reyes and Daniel Driensky, drew inspiration for the striking murals from five adjectives: radiant, victorious, fierce, strong, and brave.