Love mural outside Platypus in the Grove rendering courtesy of the Love mural team

St. Louis artist to paint ‘Love’ mural on Platypus in the Grove

You can help Lisa Marie Thalhammer create her artwork beginning on Wednesday, July 17

Grove hotspot Platypus – co-helmed by lauded mixologists Meredith Barry and Tony Saputo – is one of the most decorated in St. Louis, winning accolades both local and national. even named it the Best Underrated Bar in the whole U.S. last year.

But the bar at 4501 Manchester Ave. is also very decorated in the other sense – and about to get even more so. This month, celebrated artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer will be painting a giant mural on the side of the building. 

The mural, which will take shape on the east side of the structure, will depict the word “love” in a repeating rainbow gradient and is part of an ongoing series from Thalhammer that celebrates “equity, respect and harmony,” according to a press release from the artist, who is working on painting similar murals in all 50 states.

Barry and Thalhammer met about a year ago at the weekly Wednesday Queertown Underground party at Platypus and began to think about this project. Thalhammer, who had been living in Washington, D.C., had returned to her hometown of St. Louis during the pandemic.

“The mural stands as more than a mere artwork; it embodies a beacon of hope and resurgence for St. Louis in the aftermath of the pandemic’s harsh blow to tourism, the arts, and the people of this city,” Barry said in a statement. “... By strategically placing this mural alongside a nationally recognized community bar, Platypus, it transforms into a must-see destination, drawing visitors and locals to gather and connect.”

Thalhammer won’t be creating the image alone. Instead, she’s inviting the community to help her paint from 4 to 8 p.m. every day from Wednesday, July 17, through Sunday, July 21. 

The project is possible thanks to funding from the Regional Arts Commission and is part of the local funder’s distribution of ARPA funds. The effort, dubbed the St. Louis Mural Project, will bring the city 28 new murals by the end of this summer.

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