Inspiration Blooms: Helena’s new mural showcases Cahaba Lily

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

HELENA – Artist Danielle Lang spent the better part of the last few weeks creating a mural showcasing the beauty of Helena through one of its most iconic features, the Cahaba Lily.

The mural features Lang’s abstract interpretation of the flower on the walls of Oversoul Brewing in Old Town Helena where hundreds of cars pass through each day.

As an artist Lang mostly works on commissions for things like pet portraits, but she said when this opportunity presented itself she knew it would be a great way to stretch her artistic muscles and provide something everyone in the area could enjoy.

“I have been painting for pretty much my whole life,” Lang explained. “Professionally, I have been doing a lot of commissions the last few years. A couple weeks back I participated in an art show at Helena High School, and one of my pieces got a really good reception and sold quickly. That gave me a boost of inspiration for this.”

Lang and her husband Joseph met with Jason Pruitt from Oversoul and put their heads together for what would eventually become this finished piece.

“Usually my style is hyper-realistic, but I didn’t want to do that for my first mural,” Lang explained. “This piece is sort of a mix between realism and abstract. You can clearly tell what it is, but I have my own take on it.”

The inspiration for this particular piece came from the couple getting a chance to view the lilies for the first time.

“We got to see them for the first-time last year,” Joseph said. “We walked down and saw just one individual lily. You had to get in the water nearly waist-high to see it, but that’s what got her started.”

“The Cahaba Lilies are very rare and special to this area, which made them perfect for this piece,” she said. “The fact that the mural is right next to the river makes it even more appropriate.”

The process for creating the mural gave Lang a plethora of valuable learning experience. She described it as a challenge, but a rewarding one.

“I did some research because I have never done a mural before. We primed it and I used outdoor paint, premixing them as close as I can to the colors I used,” Lang explained. “I pretty much free-handed the whole thing, which made me nervous, but that’s what I did. While I was working I would walk across the street and just take a step back and look at it, which helped a lot.”

Lang’s husband Joseph said that it was an incredible process to watch, and that he was incredibly proud of the work that she was able to make.

“I think the results speak for themselves,” Joseph said. “This will make everyone’s view a little more pleasant. If we can make people’s drives even 5 percent more beautiful, then I think this mural has served its purpose.”

Lang said that she was grateful for the opportunity and was glad to be able to share her passion for art in a way that would bring joy to others. She hopes to be able to continue spreading this joy in the future.