A wind-up toy alligator now graces the side wall of Joann Fabrics and Crafts at Butler Plaza, courtesy of renowned Dutch artist Leon Keer.
The 22-foot tall and 67-foot wide mural faces Windmeadows Boulevard and is a two-dimensional mural with a three-dimensional aspect depending on how you look at it.
Iryna Kanishcheva, owner and founder of GNV Urban Art, was commissioned by Butler Plaza to oversee the project and chose Keer because he was the perfect match for the location, she said.
“He is the only one in the world who can do this kind of 3-D anamorphic art,” Kanishcheva said.
Keer has been doing this kind of art for 25 years and has worked in countries all around the world. He began painting this mural on Feb. 12 and completed it five days later. The mural is called “Dream Big,” Keer said, and depicts a toy alligator with a real gator shadow behind it. It represents the toy alligator dreaming of one day becoming an actual alligator.
“If you feel little, you have to dream big,” Keer said.
Keer said it took him about half a day to create the initial sketch for the mural, but the final adjustments always come down to the last minute once the artist is on-site.
Deborah Butler, President of Butler Enterprises, knew that she wanted art throughout the property to create different experiences for visitors to Butler Plaza.
“You have ideas, and this artist just took it to another level,” Butler said.
This is only the first part in a project that will connect Butler Plaza to a more urban shopper, and give people an experience different than online, Mary Reichardt, corporate director of marketing for Butler Enterprises, said.
“Fasten your seatbelts,” Butler said, “There’s more to come.”