Navasota Artist Putting His Touch On the Blue Bell Creamery

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

When folks visit the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, it's ice cream that their taste buds crave.

But it's a sweet treat for the eyes that's turning heads as a local artist churns out his contribution to the new ice cream parlor.

"I have people in Navasota today that I'm sure don't know what I do for a living," said mural painter Russell Cushman.

Cushman has lived in Navasota for almost 40 years and for the past 15, he's painted murals. Chances are you've seen his work.

"I started in Navasota with a snake on the gymnasium wall and that grew into other jobs and then pretty soon, I was going all over the place," said Cushman.

His work can be found at the Bush International Airport in Houston, Washington On The Brazos, and several area schools.

Now he's working on a mural titled Blue Bell, bluebonnets, and baseball.

Cushman is one of several talented Texas artists with Navasota roots.

Sculptor Payne Lara and painter Leon Collins are a few other area artists that are bringing in big city buyers to little Navasota.

"It's a nice place to live and it's got a lot of inspiring history and natural beauty. It's not sure why it is, it is funny though. I can't think another town around that has as many artists that have achieved what we have," said Cushman.

And even though the everyday visitor to Blue Bell won't know just who had a hand behind the mural, Russell enjoys his life as an everyday artist.

"The bottom line is I get to do what I love to do. I think that an artist is used to the idea that he conveys ideas almost anonymously anyway because they can't meet their audience. As long as the people who need the art know who I am, that's all that matters," said Cushman.

And with work like this, Russell's name is getting as big as his murals.

Russell earns anywhere from $2500 dollars to $25,000 for his murals. If you'd like to see more of his work including his paintings, you can check out his gallery at the Blues Alley in Navasota.

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