A mural on the side of the newly opened Jumpshot Coffee business depicting four children living in a Ugandan orphanage was recently completed. The piece was commissioned by store owner Sasha Rodriquez and painted by Dace Kidd to promote the company’s mission to bring in donations for an orphanage. Rodriguez said the orphanage mother and the four children gave permission to use their images in the mural.
“When we moved here to Texas a year ago, we decided that whatever business we did here, we would put them behind it,” Rodriquez said. “We carry the values of serving and helping through whatever we do. Through the concept of helping and serving through business, we truly believe we have a calling to serve people.”
Jumpshot Coffee is located at 734 S Fleishel Ave. The mural faces the hospital and is visible to drive thru customers and motorists passing the store. The mural depicts Nagawa Sarah, 10, Kawesa Ryan, 7, Nantogo Robinah, 7 and Mayanja Jonah, 8 — four children of the 35 who inhabit the orphanage.
“We thought about what can be relevant in this area,” Rodriquez said. “We know there are a lot of people with compromised health, and we wondered what positive message can be shared with the community. We went through several different options, and figured there is nothing more profound and more clear than their faces.”
Rodriquez and Kidd began brainstorming the mural in September, and Kidd completed the painting over the course of two weeks in April. Kidd has painted other murals across the Tyler area, including the “Wings of Tyler”’ and the “Eyes of Tyler,” located downtown.
“It’s been wonderful to have, in just this year, created a lot of larger murals in Tyler that are highly visible and embraced by the community,” Kidd said. “I’ve been painting murals for about six years. One of my specialties is creating site-specific murals that are created … for photogenic opportunities. Whenever I take on a project like that, a lot of research goes into the environment. Nothing is an accident. It’s very well planned and curated.”
Jumpshot Coffee is hosting a grand opening event on May 21 in hopes of gaining 89 more sponsors to donate one dollar a day each to the orphanage. Their goal is to donate $2,700 to the orphanage each month. The store also donates all of its profits made on Sundays to the orphanage.
“That is for rent, food, school, utilities, transportation, medical expenses, everything for an entire orphanage with 35 children,” Rodriquez said. “We just want people to know that you can buy coffee anywhere, but when you buy it here, you are a part of [our mission]. Even if you are not a sponsor, you are a part of this.”
Jude Ratcliff is a first year journalism student at Tyler Junior College. He plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin after completing his associate’s degree to pursue a career in investigative reporting. In his down time, Jude enjoys writing and watching movies.
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