Up-and-coming artist Richie Brasil had never met Village of the Arts founder Herbie Rose, but he captured more than just Rose’s image on the wall of City Fitness at 821 12th St. W. Brasil captured the spirit of the man Rose once presented to the world around him.
Rose’s kindness and love for others will forever spill onto each passerby, and while Brasil’s painting was a serious and emotional journey, even he couldn’t help but smile when he stared up into Rose’s eyes. Brasil may not have ever met the man, but through his expression of art, it was apparent the young artist got to know Herbie the man very well, indeed.
“It’s amazing that Richie captured his likeness so well,” said Rose’s wife and artist Graciela Giles Rose. “It’s not only the physical likeness but the feeling of who Herbie is as a man.”
Brasil didn’t want any of the credit. He almost refused to speak about his mural, but was prodded by Graciela Rose. The young artist does plenty of interviews, but this one was different for him. Brasil said this piece came from a negative place, but certainly not toward Rose, rather than the lack of acknowledgment of the man within the arts community Rose was instrumental in creating.
“I kept hearing about this man’s legacy in this town and if it’s that big, why is it not being acknowledged? This isn’t my mural. If I could have done it without anyone knowing it was me, I would have. This is for Herbie and his family and what we can do to support them,” Brasil said. “I’ve heard whispers about Herbie for years and just couldn’t understand why he isn’t acknowledged more instead of being in the background.”
I’m a little ticked off at the art community because something should have been done a long time ago.
Richie Brasil, artist
As Brasil heard more and more about Rose, not only as an artist, but as the kind soul Rose is known to be, “I felt like I had to do something,” Brasil said. “I feel like there is a lack of support in the arts community for this man. I’ll be honest, I’m a little ticked off at the art community because something should have been done a long time ago.”
To the average eye, Brasil could walk away from the mural as it is and “amazing” would be an appropriate word to describe his work. But Brasil sees more work to do in the piece and will continue to add more life to the mural. Graciela said Rose’s four sons, as well as her son and daughter, are ecstatic about Brasil’s work thus far.
A lot of people know his name, but have no idea how involved he was from the get go.
Graciela Giles Rose, wife of Herbie Rose
“They all love Herbie so much,” she said.
Rose, who fell ill a few years ago and is in an assisted living facility, is featured in other murals within the village. However, as the village founder and one-time honorary mayor of the arts district, Brasil’s prominent mural of Rose is sure to draw attention. His wife said it’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to not only remember Rose, but to get to know him all over again.
“People need to get to know him,” she said. “A lot of people know his name, but have no idea how involved he was from the get go. I’m so thrilled to see this. It looks terrific.”