By Carly Bevis
First and foremost, I want to give the biggest shoutout and thank you to John Zidar, the Creative Director & Lead Designer of Save The Crew (STC). He coordinated the logistics and painting of this mural and was there every step of the way with a helping hand. I also want to thank everyone else who volunteered their time to help paint: Morgan, Ethan, Alexxa, Chris, Jonathon, and The Dunaway Family (Beth, Spencer, Becky, and Ike). Thank you to Mike Kuhn for providing paint supplies and Jeff Zidar for the equipment and tools. Lastly, a huge thanks to Save The Crew business ally Land-Grant Brewing Company for allowing us to create this and for hydrating us throughout the process!
In April, I was asked to help paint the first Save The Crew mural on Hudson Street. It was a humbling experience to be a part of the process while surrounded by a group of people who are just as passionate, if not more passionate, about the Crew and Columbus as I am. When John approached me about designing a second mural, I couldn’t have been more excited! Not only was this another chance to spread the word about Save The Crew, but it was another opportunity to bring our community together and continue to spread the word about STC.
“Respect Your Roots” is the theme across multiple STC designs including the Hudson Street mural and the Community Kit. When developing concepts for the new mural design, I wanted to focus on the meaning of these words. “Respect Your Roots” pays homage to the rich history behind the team in this city. The mural design breaks it down by incorporating iconic imagery related to Crew SC history and the city of Columbus.
Here are the facts behind some of the icons:
• 1996 was the Crew’s inaugural season
• The Columbus Crew Stadium, now Mapfre Stadium, was the first major-league soccer stadium built in the United States
• The Crew has won the MLS Cup, The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and three Supporter’s Shields
• The checkerboard flag is a staple among fans at games and around the city
Land-Grant is one of my favorite breweries in Columbus because they put the community first in literally everything they do, from raising money and donating it to local charities and nonprofits to ensuring long-term community sustainability. As a graphic designer, I pay close attention to branding everywhere I go and Land-Grant has created a successful, visually appealing brand. I wanted to make sure my mural design aligned with their aesthetic. While doing research (I’ll make any excuse to drink delicious beer), I drew inspiration from one particular poster hung in their tap room.
The evening of June 29th was the first day we put our brushes to work and primed our massive 53´ wide canvas. The next couple of days were spent problem solving and figuring out the little details that made the mural design complete. Our team was full of creative individuals, and I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. I learned that mural painting takes patience if you want to do it right and extend its life span. After we had our signature gold background ready, we went back to trace the design on July 4th because we’re committed to saving the Crew and don’t take holidays off! Working around the World Cup schedule, we did the majority of painting on July 6th.
After 20 hours of work, the mural was officially completed on July 11th! If you have not had a chance to see it yet, I highly recommend that you go to Land-Grant Brewing, grab a beer, and check out the mural…it’s black and gold on a big semi-truck located at 424 W. Town Street in Franklinton —not hard to miss!
If you take any pictures, use #SaveTheCrew to spread the word!