Restoration of Downtown Midland’s ‘Longhorn Mural’ nears completion

The Midland County Commissioner's Court hired Calina Mishay to restore the Downtown Library's west wall.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - If you’ve driven through Downtown Midland recently, you might’ve noticed one of the city’s most famous murals is getting a facelift, courtesy of Calina Mishay.

“Yeah, I did the other side of the library three years ago,” Mishay said.

She is not the official Midland County Library muralist, but perhaps she should be.

“I travel around the state and do this,” she said.

Lately, she’s been working on the ‘Longhorn Mural’ on the library’s west side. The east and south walls already wear her street art.

It’s a solitary work environment.

“You know, when you’re up here by yourself, you get into a little bit of a zone,” she said from the top of a work platform.

She comes to Midland via a small town north of Abilene, which she controversially calls “West Texas.”

“I do,” she exclaimed, defending herself. “It’s on the cusp, ok? We’re on the cutoff!”

West Texan or pretender, Mishay has been tasked by the Midland County Commissioner’s Court with restoring the Longhorn Mural, painted in 1998, to something resembling its original state based in no small part based on her previous work on the library.

“She’s so talented,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Scott Ramsey. “We wanted to make sure the same on this side.”

But there are also other reasons. The original designer, Tom Ryan, died in 2011. (The painting was done by Peter Himmelburg).

Mishay grew up with Ryan’s daughter and received the family’s blessing to restore the mural.

“It’s just an incredible honor to be the artist working on something that has so much history and for an artist that was so successful in his own career,” she said.

That brings quite a bit of pressure.

“Of course! Of course! I always feel pressure,” she laughed.

But to the untrained reporter’s eye, the work looks immaculate and nearly complete.

“At this point, filling in what’s left at the top there and then coming through here cleaning up things,” Mishay said.

Leaving more time to ponder where the West begins.

“Midland is definitely West Texas,” she exclaimed. “Definitely.”