John Cush is one of downtown’s most ardent and eager developers. His Ridgeway Square condo conversion at 721 Marshall Street sold out. He is already fielding calls about his adaptive reuse of the adjoining building at 719 Marshall. The two spacious apartments on the second floor and the commercial/restaurant space on the first promises to be a hot ticket, and he is already planning yet another project in the 600 block of Milam Street.

John Cush with his parents, Maynard and Therese.

Nothing that he has done to date, though, is likely as near to his heart as a just-finished artwork on the Cotton Street side of Ridgeway Square.

The canvas was made all the more alluring because of wall repairs and air conditioning units that all distracted from the overall view.  Cush had a vision for the wall, and hired artist Matthew Yerby of Natchitoches, La., to bring it to life.

Yerby, an artist/muralist from Natchitoches who is now living and working in California was able to put all the disparate pieces together into a beautiful, cohesive and very personal piece of art. His plan started in charcoal. He made ongoing changes to the layout on paper before ever picking up a brush.

In the background are the hills of Alia and Cefalu, Sicily, home to Cush’s ancestors. Cush’s parents Therese and Maynard sit in the foreground with their beautiful north Caddo ‘homeplace’ and his mother’s beloved daffodils all around.

On the side of the ‘patio’ is a hidden walkway that seems to run ‘between’ the two windows.

The mural is an attractive addition to an area becoming a downtown mural hotspot.

Murals at 1533 Marshall, 1201 Marshall, the fabulous Millennium Mural on the side of the AT&T building and a still-to-be-created large scale artwork on Marshall under Interstate 20 work to create a colorful, welcoming, interesting entrance into downtown.