Public Art for Public Good: Inspiring Change Through Art

April 8, 2024 • Cait Witherspoon • ECHO Digital, ECHO Digital, Zoos + Aquariums

From monumental sculptures to colorful murals, public art has been a vital part of human experience for thousands of years. Serving as both a mirror for societal values and a catalyst for dialogue, public art enriches our urban landscapes by fostering connections and stimulating the imagination.

As a former graffiti artist, Evan Lovett – Creative Director of Walls of the Wildlife – has a keen eye for quickly understanding a space and developing dynamic compositions that harmonize seamlessly with their surroundingsIn March’s ECHO Digital session, we discussed Evan’s collaborations with conservation-focused organizations and how his work is showcasing the stories of endangered wildlife in a big way. 

Tessere’s Take: 

The element of surprise can spark critical conversations and lead to community transformation.  
Evan’s large-scale murals can pop up in just a day and the shock value has been proven to spark lively conversation that mobilizes communities, like in the revitalization of an overlooked children’s playground after the materialization of a towering raccoon eating a soft pretzel.  There are times when co-design is essential, but when conversation is the intended outcome, the unexpected can be a catalyst for change.   

Art tells powerful stories. 
“Nature doesn’t have a voice”, but Evan gives it one through thoughtful design and composition.  In collaboration with the New Jersey Osprey Project, a 3-story tall mural of a banded osprey brought media attention to the conservation of an important indicator species of the local ecosystem.  With new appreciation and understanding, the surrounding community takes great pride in their new “billboard for conservation”, the birds that call their community home, and the role they play in the species’ recovery.   

Murals build community identity and pride.
A neighborhood’s identity is the sum of many parts, and public art plays a pivotal role in nurturing community pride and showing the world what matters to its residents.  Large-scale murals can even become iconic landmarks, drawing spectators and influencers for that perfect photo.  By embracing public art beyond their doors and gates, zoos & aquariums have the opportunity to weave their messages into the fabric of their communities, accessible by all. 

Set aside preconceptions.
A heavily tattooed graffiti artist, Evan is no stranger to stereotypes.  But despite any initial hesitation or resistance to his presence in a community, his talent, commitment, and passion for creating beautiful art with purpose quickly inspire deep respect and appreciation.  As a good friend of ECHO, Dave Bindewald, reminds us, “Curiosity and fear both exist because we don’t know something.  Fear you run from.  Curiosity you lock eyes with and take a step towards”.       

If you’re interested in watching the full recording, send us an email at