VIA Studio designs, installs city mural in Computershare’s new offices

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It’s the first thing you notice when you step off the 11th-floor elevator and into the new Meidinger Tower offices of Computershare: a 38-foot stylized mural depicting Louisville’s skyline. It’s the work of Louisville-based design firm VIA Studio. (IL also reported on Computershare’s opening, which took place earlier this week. The firm is pledging to bring 250 new jobs here.)

IL spoke with VIA owner Jason Clark and designer Pat Sheehan about the mural. Clark says the idea was Computershare’s — specifically, their marketing team’s. He says the stark modernist mural says a lot about the surprisingly keen aesthetic sense of the Computershare team. You may not expect that from Computershare, a firm involved in financial services.

“Computershare has a marketing team that’s great,” he says. “They’re creative, innovative … for a brand like Computershare, they’re pretty on-point.”

Another company had gotten the job first, Clark says, though he didn’t specify which, and then Computershare approached VIA. The firm had about three weeks to do the entire thing. Sheehan designed and drew it, which took a week, and then it was installed over the course of the next couple weeks. The mural isn’t actually painted on the wall; rather, it was printed out in large strips and then laid on the wall, akin to customized wallpaper.

Sheehan’s approach was less-is-more, which proved challenging. “You get the same overall complexity of the city with very minimalist line,” he says. “You’re trying to figure out what you’re going to leave out.”

Sheehan says Computershare’s execs were easy to reach regarding the project, which surprised him, in a good way. “It said a lot to me. I’ve done murals for all kinds of places, and some people just aren’t approachable,” he says. “That just made me feel great about working on the job. That’s the kind of thing which instills inspiration in me.”

A Computershare spokeswoman says they selected VIA because they already had a working relationship with the firm on projects related to their recruitment campaign, “and their local appeal and affection for the city in which they live and work,” she says.

Each floor at the firm’s Meidinger Tower location will reflect sister locations, with Floor 11 also displaying London and Los Angeles. Floor 10 will reflect Melbourne and Chicago.

Fund the Fun: Funtown Mountain Kickstarter takes off

Karter Louis and Will Russell in the future Pop Culture Museum

Karter Louis and Will Russell in the future Pop Culture Museum

Will Russell has launched his Funtown Mountain Kickstarter, seeking to raise at least $25,000 to help fund Phase I of the roadside attraction’s revival.

The Funtown Kickstarter page features a video by Team Hi Ho that is weird even by Russell’s and Hi Ho’s standards. Something about a chicken-eating contest to determine the fate of Guntown Mountain, Abe Lincoln, The Kentucky Prophet in a nude unitard with a strategically-placed fig leaf … oh, and Terry Meiners as Mary Todd Lincoln.

We’d say “it will all make sense when you see it” but, um, it doesn’t. But damn is it well-done.

Most of Phase I of Funtown Mountain is set to open June 18. Phase I includes a Kentucky-themed putt-putt course, the Haunted Motel, Funtown Souvenir Shack, Soaring Eagle Zip Lines, the chair lift, the Wolf Pack 5 animatronic band, the Imagination Land Pop Culture Museum and more. Karter Louis of Hillbilly Tea is also opening a Hillbilly Tea Shack on the campus.

The Kickstarter incentives are pretty nice. A donation of just $25 gets you a T-shirt — and judging by the shirts in Russell’s Why Louisville stores, they’ll be soft and comfy.

We rode along with Russell back in February to tour the Mountain and hear about his plans. Read about that adventure here.

The Kickstarter wraps up on May 15. As of Thursday evening, it had raised $4,245.