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The Mural - Artist: Isabel Newberry

The Mural - Artist: Isabel Newberry

We wanted to honor Marie, Fabricio, and Arturo. For their friendship, trustworthiness, and dedication. While no shrine is big enough nor value large enough, a mural seemed right. Something that would compliment the shop, but most importantly, something that could honor Arturo, Marie, and Fabricio. Something that honored them through a highly detailed medium - a medium that requires the same level of attention to detail that growing and processing coffee requires. 


Now, unfortunately, the artistic gene was never given to me. So, any idea that I have that requires a level of artistic genius, I'm forced to outsource. Like all of the graphic design work that Jessica Shurman has done for Z Beans, I needed someone to do this mural. Previous mural experience wasn't a prerequisite I was looking for, rather I wanted someone who could assure me they wouldn't settle for anything less than a job well done. 


I call Eric O'Dell, an art professor at Mercer, asking him if he had a student willing to take on this task. Without hesitation, he says he does. Not even an hour later, the student texts me, letting me know she is interested in the project - assuring me it'd be a job well done. 

I was sold. 


Isabel started on the first mural at Mercer Village the week of May 13. In less than 3 days, she effectively captured the image I was hoping to portray - an image showcasing the love between Marie and Fabricio and the friendship between the two and Arturo. 

Isabel would go on to do the mural two more times, one at the downtown shop and one at the roasting facility. With each mural came more experience and an even better product. 

Through the development of the mural - the base coat, the shadowing, and the tiny details that brought it to life - grew an ever stronger appreciation inside of me. An appreciation for Isabel and her willingness to take on this process - an appreciation for the tiny details required to create anything great. 

While I can't possibly thank Arturo, Marie, and Fabricio enough for all they do for Z Beans, I'm excited to be able to honor them in this way. No matter the direction Z Beans takes all of us, I know the three of them will always be at the center of it. With a commitment to the principles of direct trade, we will always be required to trust each other. Whether it's Arturo trusting me to send him his monthly salary from over 2,500 miles away or all of us at Z Beans trusting Marie to allocate coffee funds to the correct people, trust is at the forefront. 

As I sit and think about it, to create anything great trust must be a prerequisite. A trust that we are in this together - a trust that the other won't settle for anything less than a job well done. 


If you are interested in having any artwork done, please do not hesitate to reach out to Isabel. I've gotten permission from her to share her contact information below: 

Isabel Newberry


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