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Personal message behind public art piece in Gilbert

Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 01:42:57-04

It's meant to bring beauty and culture to the East Valley but a public piece of art, now on display in Gilbert, has a very personal message.

Drivers pass by the Gilbert Art Wall off Lindsay and Pecos roads every day. 

Some stop to take pictures, others just admire the work. However, for one Valley woman, one particular piece was a birthday surprise she will never forget.

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but one of the murals on the Gilbert Art Wall left Jennifer Shifler speechless.

"Like my heart was stuck in my throat and I couldn't think," she said. "I was just; I was blown away."

The mural is more like a memorial honoring Jennifer's late brother, Brian. The talented, lifelong artist passed away in January.

"I wanted to do some kind of tribute for him, and for her and her family, and for his sons," said Marc Shifler, Jennifer's husband.

Cuck Wan is the artist Marc chose to breathe new life into one of Brian's original pieces.

"The elephant means, usually like a protector, so he's just kind of here to protect this neighborhood," said Wan.

A fitting picture of the older brother who put his own dreams on hold to help raise his younger siblings.

"We lost our parents at an early age," said Shifler. "He was a great person."

A gift the entire community can enjoy.

"It feels good to give back and to actually help people with my art now," said Wan.

A gift the Shifler family will cherish always.

The woman who owns the wall hopes this is just the beginning. 

There is a discussion of hosting an art walk and getting at-risk youth involved to help beautify some of the surrounding walls.