Art of Words

Fountain Square’s newest mural by Jeff Thomas portrays the power of a dialogue

Santorini Greek Kitchen Owner Jeanette Sawi and Artist Jeff Thomas take a moment to reflect on the new mural outside of the Fountain Square restaurant.

There is power in conversation, in people having a dialogue face to face. That’s the message Jeff Thomas conveys in his new mural, Art of Words, painted on the west wall of Santorini Greek Kitchen in Fountain Square.

“This place, that’s exactly what goes on in here,” said restaurant owner Jeanette Sawi, “whether they’re celebrating or just here on a Tuesday with friends… As you drive through Fountain Square, this (mural) is a focal point as you’re driving east on Prospect. It really catches your eye.”

The artist, Thomas, grew up in Indiana but resided in California for 15 years. After moving to Greenwood in Indiana in 2000, he started doing sculpture. He had a sculpture at White River State Park for a year, and said he did well in the medium. In 2013, he picked up canvas, mixed media and photography.

Art of Words is his first mural, brought about through a partnership with his friend, Bernie Price, and the owners of Santorini, Jeanette and Taki Sawi. The 13 by 7 foot image has a white frame with black background, and the outline of two faces looking at one another.

Santorini Greek Kitchen. Photos by Nicole Davis.

“Even with this new construction, that’s one of the elements the neighborhood wants,” Jeanette said. “They want murals. They want art. It’s professional. We love having a local artist paint it. IT turned out really well.”

Thomas had a three-day timeline to finish the mural with rain impending. Price acted as his assistant, which allowed him to complete the piece by March 24.

“People enjoy the process,” Jeanette said. “They enjoy seeing when it starts from nothing to what it end up as. Bernie was telling me one morning she came by and two neighbor people were out there with their coffee cups, looking at it. Whenever you can get the local people interested, it’s a win, win.”

The mural will be celebrated with a private lighting event later this month.

Thomas’ canvas work can also be found for sale in Santorini, Heart Space in downtown Indianapolis and Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza in Greenwood.