Port Arthur radio station owner hopes to inspire youth through murals done by local artist – Port Arthur News
Port Arthur radio station owner hopes to inspire youth through murals done by local artists
Published 12:48 on Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Pictured is part of a painting by CJ Chenier, which will soon be placed on the exterior of The Breeze radio station. The painting was done by Juan Esparza. (Courtesy photo)
Stephen Mosely has devoted nearly 20 years to public radio in Port Arthur. And soon he will be spreading his love for the craft visually as well as audibly.
Mosely, founder of KSAP 96.9 The Breeze, commissioned Groves artist Juan Esparza for “Expressions of Hope.”
“It’s something to give our young people that we’ve worked with in the past and in the future, an opportunity to see that – if they work hard, produce and are consistent in their craft – they can eventually be someone recognized in the future become,” he said.
Using an idea created two months ago, Mosely will add paintings to the exterior of the building that houses The Breeze.
Originally he wanted paint on the walls. But, he said, they are porous and not suitable for painting.
So Esparza began painting on four-by-eight canvases that will be taped to the outside of the building.
“We spent a lot of money preparing the building,” Mosely said, adding that they repaired the roof and repainted the walls.
Mosely first saw Esparza’s work when the Mid County artist was painting a mural on the side of Mission’s Attic.
Esparza has already completed one of the eight paintings, which will be based largely on album covers or photos chosen by family members representing the artists.
“Each of those individuals has a story,” Mosely said.
They have secured rights to display the images and are looking for sponsors for each. One has been obtained.
The paintings will be from:
CJ Chenier, son of King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier. According to the Museum of the Gulf Coast, the younger Chenier grew up in Port Arthur, where he played in Top 40 bands as a teenager. He first played with his father on his 21st birthday, and after Clifton Chenier’s death in 1987, CJ Chenier began leading the Red Hot Louisiana Band like his father. Zachary Breaux was a jazz musician who attended Lincoln High School before touring the world. Breaux died in 1997 while on vacation in Florida when he tried to save a drowning man. 1st Lt. Adam E. Simpson Jr. was the first man from Port Arthur to die in the Vietnam War. In 2021, a plaque in his honor was unveiled at The Pavilion. Simpson was a drum major in high school. His painting will show him in his uniform. Paul Orta, of Port Arthur, was a harmonica player and “global blues legend,” according to his 2019 obituary. Beaumont native Barbara Lynn co-wrote her first song, “You’ll lose a good thing,” which no. 1. According to information from the Museum, she toured with musical legends Gladys Knight, James Brown and Marvin Gaye. The Sugar Shack is an iconic painting by a North Carolina artist. Port Arthur native Janis Joplin was “arguably the most powerful singer to emerge from the white rock movement,” as Time Magazine called her. The Breeze Players is a logo used by the radio station of silhouetted musicians.
Mosely chose artists from Port Arthur or those who were regularly played on The Breeze.
“(Orta) would be in France or Germany or somewhere,” he said. “He caught a train and went to a nightclub, and we connected with him and played his live performance on the radio here in the United States.”
To sponsor a painting, call 409-982-9029.
The Breeze is owned by the Truth and Education Corporation, which is a 501(c)3.