Amidst the commercial strip of Vineyard Avenue in downtown Highland, larger-than-life renditions of endangered species clamor from the exterior wall of Studio 89. A bee eats nectar from bright orange flowers under the piercing gaze of a red bird. A leopard gecko ambles along green leaves, while a purple praying mantis is poised to jump off the building’s corner. “That was pretty much the vision—a giant world with the building ripping away and seeing this fantasy world where the humans are the small ones,” says Lady Pink, the mural’s designer.
Lady Pink started out doing graffiti work in 1979, pioneering the way for female artists in New York City subway graffiti subculture and added murals to her repertoire in the 1980s. Studio 89 art gallery owner Amy Dooley wanted a local woman to create a mural that would celebrate nature and highlight environmental crises.
This work is part of Lady Pink’s mission to bring more artwork to Highland and the surrounding neighborhoods. “Art is for everyone,” she says. “What’s rewarding is having a good impact on the neighborhood.”