If you visited the Dallas Museum of Art during the last month, you encountered a frenzy of activity in the Concourse hall. It started as a sprawling spectrum of pale, vapor blue to rich, midnight navy—but this was just the canvas. Soon, dozens of artists lined up on either side, scrawling delicate lines like ivy spreading across the walls. When I went a week or so ago to see speechless: different by design, the painters were carefully administering white splatters and filling in the final details. Their work, the vision of Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto, has now come to fruition in a gorgeous new mural, Landscape of a Lifetime.
The 153-foot hallway is a celestial dream in 24 shades of blue, covered with Cinto’s signature line drawings and star-like speckles. The São Paulo-based artist and her helpers worked for three weeks while museum visitors looked on, watching the hall transform into a walk-through artwork marked with symbols of Cinto’s practice.
“I call it Landscape of a Lifetime because it includes all of my vocabulary of drawing,” she says.
Cinto brought her studio assistants from Brazil, but she also tapped several members of the Dallas community to work on the mural, many of whom had no background in art.
“It’s a way to empower people to do things,” says Cinto. “It’s a lot of energy involved in this process, a lot of labor, a lot of time. We are living in a time when everything is rushed…my goal is to do work that takes time, and it’s like a meditation.”
In its completed form, the mural invites viewers to take a moment to slow down and immerse themselves in the calming blues and otherworldly illustrations. There’s even a soundtrack of birds singing playing overhead in the hallway. Fourteen of Cinto’s painted canvases punctuate the walls, offering points of pause and contemplation.
When you pass through the experience, the artist asks that you “breathe a little, take your time, enjoy the moment.”
Landscape of a Lifetime is on view through July 5, 2020. Admission to the museum is free.