Brownsville pays LA artist $20K for downtown mural

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Mural painted by LA-based artist, Teddy Kelly. [Photo: Gaby Moreno]

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Requested public information shows Los Angeles-based artist Teddy Kelly was paid $20,000 for his mural on the Capitol Theater building in Downtown Brownsville.

Last month, the City of Brownsville and mural artist Teddy Kelly unveiled the city’s largest mural, painted on the Capitol Theater building on Levee Street. Kelly’s mural is one of three murals to be painted downtown in an effort to “recover spaces for artistic expansion” and “promote cultural awareness,” according to a press release sent by the city. The Downtown Mural Program was funded by the Musk Foundation.

Mixed reactions about the mural circulated on social media soon after the mural was finished. While some praised Kelly’s work, others felt money donated to the city by the Musk Foundation should have stayed within the community.

The City of Brownsville entered an agreement with Kelly in early August stating that Kelly would be commissioned to “create a mural” designed by himself and “selected by the community.”

Reference photo in the agreement between artist Teddy Kelly and the city of Brownsville. [Source: Public Records]

Kelly was to receive two payments of $10,000, paid at the beginning and end of the project.

Materials were provided and a reference photo was included in the agreement.

Mexican Artist Sophia Castellanos is the next artist who will be painting a mural for the program. She says she will begin on October 10.

Director of Government and Community Affairs, Ramiro Gonzalez told ValleyCentral that they wanted someone local or from the region to paint the third mural. The city has not announced a selection.

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