“It’s Who You Know” with mural artists, David Schuster and Dale Piper

One more reason to visit the new Leadership Louisville Center!

Artist David Schuster (left) and designer Dale Piper (right) have just completed an epic mural at the new Leadership Louisville Center. Watch the mural trailer, read the interview with the artists, and come see our new work of art!

Learn how you and your team can take advantage of the new Leadership Louisville Center
Members, be sure to check out the discount on use of the space.

About the mural, from our President, Cynthia Knapek…
When our board and staff envisioned our new headquarters we discussed the value that art brings to any space and knew that must be a priority for our new home. Each of our board members supported our vision for the offices but some had a specific idea for exactly how they would like to be a part of the project. Our board member Scott Colosi at Texas Roadhouse knows first hand the way art can make a space memorable – most of their restaurants feature murals from local artists. So when Scott and his team came to us with the idea to commission a mural for our new space we knew we had a great match. Our mural is beautiful but it’s also an homage to the history of our community.

Join us for a conversation with the artists and get story behind the images.

Q. How did the collaboration with the Leadership Louisville Center begin?

Dale Piper: I am the recently retired creative director for Texas Roadhouse Restaurants. The management of Texas Roadhouse brought me in to create and produce a mural as a gift to the Leadership Louisville Center.

This has been one of the best collaborative efforts that I have ever experienced in my career and I am extremely proud of the finished product.

As the project began, I met with Cynthia Knapek to discuss scale, philosophy and general direction. Shortly after the initial meetings, I reached out to David Schuster – an exceptionally talented artist – to do the actual painting of the mural.

The three of us established an immediate and successful collaboration. It has been an absolute joy to work with Cynthia and David on this project. We have shared endless hours in fine tuning ideas on design, philosophy, and creativity. Cynthia brought a lot of insight on the direction including the use of the graphic “word wall” elements. David ‘s contribution to the project has been absolutely invaluable. His idea for incorporating the waters of the river as a texture for the entire under-paint was brilliant.

Q. What was the inspiration for the mural?

Dale Piper: I wanted this piece to reflect on the residual benefits of progressive leadership to a community.

Leadership is more than commerce. It is deeper and longer lasting. Leadership impacts community, culture, and heritage. There are so many elements of a community’s quality of life that are a direct result of successful business and social leadership. Most of these elements are taken for granted and never realized to be the result of business leadership.

It was Louisville’s leadership in the 1800s that brought world-class attention to Louisville through The Southern Exposition of 1883 and the development of our parks system in 1891 by the renowned Olmsted Brothers. These events continue, over 125 years later, to impact the lives of today’s society.

Q. What was your guiding vision?

Dale Piper: The vision from day one was to create a meaningful work of art that would pay tribute to Louisville’s leadership, past and present. The piece is also intended to educate and inspire graduates and visitors. Most importantly the piece is intended to inspire leaders of tomorrow, with a reflection on what has been done – and what can still be done – when dedicated leaders work unselfishly for the good of all.

Q. How did you decide what to include?

Dale Piper: We looked for significant occurrences in Louisville’s history that were the result of visionary leadership. We wanted to address history, and recognize who and what has most impacted Louisville, and the world. We wanted to showcase commerce, nature, arts, culture, and community.

Q. Tell about including the vertical words/values and the quotes?

Dale Piper: Words and quotes were intended from the very beginning as a way to narrate the story through Leadership Louisville Center values. The quotes give voice to the piece through familiar names that have affected the culture of Louisville business and the community over the years.

Q. Talk about the thought that went into executing the design. What about challenges?

David Schuster: My main objective was to present all the content with interesting and compelling imagery that was site-specific – meaning that it fit the décor and design of the space. The most difficult challenge was to find a way to present the individual elements in a cohesive manner to create one, unified painting. I used an abstract pattern to both unite the various individual elements, like the weave of a fabric, but also to move the viewer through the piece. The shapes also allude to the river, which is critical to Louisville’s existence, and they are also a design motif that occurs throughout the Leadership Louisville Center space.