Colorful murals breathe new life into historic downtown Richardson building

This first mural nods to the businesses' name as well as its new home in Richardson. (Courtesy Amy Alexander)
This first mural nods to the businesses' name as well as its new home in Richardson. (Courtesy Amy Alexander)

This first mural nods to the businesses' name as well as its new home in Richardson. (Courtesy Amy Alexander)

Image description
The "You grow Girl" mural was inspired by the floral vendor at the Darling Co. (Courtesy the Darling Co.)
Image description
The Darling Co. founder Laci Coker said "You are beautiful" mural represents her Christian beliefs. (Courtesy Amy Alexander)
Image description
The "Better together" mural took on new meaning amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Amy Alexendar)
Bare walls on the outside of a downtown Richardson building have recently been revitalized with colorful murals featuring uplifting messages.

The artwork is the result of a partnership between Created Art Co. artist Rasheal Winters and Laci Coker, founder of the Darling Co., a cooperative between seven vendors in the wedding industry.

Coker had initially looked in Deep Ellum and Uptown for a new space for her business. When those did not work out, she set her sights on East Polk Street in Richardson’s historic downtown.

“If I could just get a place there, then I could start the dream in a little area that could be up-and-coming,” Coker said of her thought process in choosing the location.

Coker liked the building but knew she wanted to breathe new life into its facade. The decision meshed well with the city’s ongoing revitalization efforts, which include new open spaces, artwork and infrastructure updates throughout the historic downtown area.

Together, Coker and Winters came up with four murals showcasing inspirational messages. Altogether the pieces took about 70-80 hours to complete, Winter said.

The first mural features the message, “Darling, you belong here,” which Winters said is a nod to the businesses’ name as well as its new home.

“We really wanted to say something about the Darling Co. ... but also try to draw people to Richardson,” Coker said.

The second mural reads, “You are beautiful, chosen, set apart & loved,” which Coker said represents her Christian beliefs.

The message “Better together” is featured on the third mural. Coker initially intended for the artwork to be a backdrop for photos of engaged couples and families, but the coronavirus pandemic has given the mural new meaning.

“In a way, [the pandemic] kind of brought our passion back ... We really want to bless these brides and share our community and give back,” Coker said.

The final mural says, “You grow, girl,” a message inspired by the businesses’ floral services.

Multicolored bricks are featured in some of the artwork, which Winter said represents the community coming together.

“it's like [saying], ‘Hey, we all come in different colors and shapes and sizes ... but when we all come together, it's something really beautiful,’” she said.

The community also had a hand in creating the artwork. Richardson police officers and passersby helped complete the mural by painting individual bricks, Winter said.

“It really [was] a sense of community and coming together,” Winters said.

Coker said she is heartened by the reaction from the community, and that she hopes the murals will remain a part of downtown Richardson for many years to come.

“I'll go out and see people lined up at the mural taking pictures, and that's super sweet and fun for me,” Coker said.
By Makenzie Plusnick
Makenzie graduated from Tarleton State University in 2019 with a degree in communications. While in school, she interned at the Weatherford Democrat and was editor of Texan News Service, a news outlet at Tarleton. She enjoys true crime podcasts, riding horses, and spending time with her dog.


Richardson Police Department’s new Crisis Intervention Team began operations in October. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Richardson police team aims to curtail local mental health crises through proactive intervention

The recently launched Crisis Intervention Team is a partnership with Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

The city of Richardson is offering water bill adjustments due to winter storm leaks. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richardson City Council approves emergency authorization for storm-related relief programs

Approval of three relief avenues will cost the city approximately $490,000, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said.

Enrollment issues related to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to budget deficits of around $10 million each for Richardson and Plano ISDs. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Millions in lost enrollment dollars looms for Richardson, Plano ISDs

TEA implemented a hold-harmless guarantee for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, which ensured that districts would receive their anticipated funding regardless of changes to attendance or enrollment. But TEA had not applied the guarantee to the spring semester as of Feb. 23.

Scooter's Coffee is now open at 1451 E. Buckingham Road in Richardson. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Scooter's Coffee opens in Richardson; Hawaiian Bros restaurant coming to Fort Worth and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Chick-fil-A food.
Chick-fil-A in Richardson Square closed for renovations

The work being done includes upgrades to its interior and drive-thru enhancements to improve efficiency, a company representative said.

Harvest Hall officially opened Feb. 6 in Grapevine as part of the Grapevine Main development. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harvest Hall now open in Grapevine, new dining options in Fort Worth and more DFW news from February

Here are some of the top stories from the past month from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

digital rendering of virus
Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinds COVID-19 disaster declaration

Collin County’s declaration of local disaster in response to COVID-19 was rescinded Feb. 26 by Judge Chris Hill.

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Tracking COVID-19: New cases drop after power outages, testing site closures in Dallas County

After a recent decline in new coronavirus cases in Dallas County, officials expect the case counts to rise again in the coming days as testing facilities have reopened following winter storm closures from being without power last week.

Hooks family.
Richardson institution Hooks Vacuums offers vacuum sales, repairs

Hooks Vacuums has long been a familiar sight for those driving down Main Street in Richardson.

Two hundred rail pieces were delivered east of Shiloh Road in Plano in late 2020, according to a Dec. 18 DART release. (Courtesy Dallas Area Rapid Transit)
DART to save millions on Silver Line project following approval of refinanced loan from U.S. Department of Transportation

The $908 million loan was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau in 2018, according to a Feb. 25 news release.

At its peak of power loss, the city had roughly 50,000 homes with interrupted power, many of which had prolonged outages, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano faces long-term impacts from storm; Collin County vaccine hubs resume service and more DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.