Arlington, VA

As Cowboy Cafe (4792 Lee Highway) adds new outdoor seating, as temporarily allowed by the county, co-owner Jim Barnes wanted to spruce out the exterior of the restaurant a little.

The result: a towering, colorful mural currently being painted onto an empty brick wall.

Local artist MasPaz — whose distinctive style can be found from across the region from D.C. to Tysons — has been working on designing and painting the mural. The artwork’s design was inspired by the Wynwood Walls in Miami, but the theme came from the local response to COVID-19.

The project spun out of the Arlington Art Truck program when participants were asked to summarize their feelings on life in Arlington under the quarantine, according to the Lee Highway Alliance. MasPaz’s word was “community” and the subsequent mural depicts someone hugging several homes close to them.

Beyond the mural, the new patio will also feature lighting and other renovations. The plan is to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but the Lee Highway Alliance is still awaiting the final lighting installation, later this month.

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