You probably haven’t heard of mural artist Sienna Urbina yet, but you might have seen her work around Logansport and Kokomo.
And if you haven’t seen one of her murals yet, you likely will soon.
There are two public ones in Logansport, her first project in The Black Dog Coffee Shop and the latest on the fence of Rita Sinning’s home at 2300 3rd Street, just north of Broadway.
In Kokomo, she was part of the Indiana University Kokomo class that painted the mural on the side of a beauty school in 2019, and her latest work is with friend and fellow classmate Megan Mentis, the 50 foot by 20 foot section of wall between Target and Chipotle at the Markland Mall.
The 21-year-old Logansport resident is in her second year of majoring in fine arts at IU Kokomo, but she’s been an artist all her life, she said.
It could have been fate, given the circumstance of her name.
When her mother was six months pregnant with her and picking up Urbina’s older brother at day care, she saw a crayon and looked at the name.
She thought, “Sienna, that’s perfect,” Urbina said.
When Urbina was 9 years old, she was searching YouTube for videos on crocheting and origami and came across a video of Bob Ross painting a waterfall and mountains.
She started that project, moved on to more paintings based on Ross’ videos and has been painting ever since.
“Bob Ross inspired me,” she said.
The first mural that Urbina worked on was about two years ago when she was a barista at The Black Dog, 116 S. 6th St., and selling her paintings at Legacy Outfitters, the store attached to it.
She and the other baristas did the mural on the wall behind the counter.
“She had a good role in that,” said Black Dog/Legacy Owner Scott Johnson.
There are plans to do one on the outside, too, after she showed photos of her work to him.
It could start in spring.
“She expressed interest in doing more of them, and I expressed interest in having one done,” Johnson said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Then she took a class at IU Kokomo on making murals in the summer of 2019, and as a project, the students did a mural on the side of Rudae’s School of Beauty Culture, 208 W. Jefferson St. in Kokomo.
She was pleased at how it turned out.
But as an art major, “I had no idea what I wanted to do with painting. I liked everything,” she said. “For a little while I thought I was going to teach.”
She has taught classes at Pear Tree Gallery in Logansport, the Logansport Art Association and Area 5.
However, she was praying for guidance when an instructor asked in class who wanted to do the Markland Mall mural.
Only she and Mentis were willing.
Then she was introduced to Sinning at Black Dog, and they talked about a mural for the fence.
“So I thought, ‘yeah, this might be an answer,’” she said.
She worked on both those murals at the same time — while taking classes.
Sinning, who moved to Logansport in March, said she and her husband planned to put metal sculptures on the fence before they met Urbina.
“We were always going to paint the fence, although we were going to paint it black,” she said.
Urbina said they wanted a mural with an urban feel, but they put few restrictions on it.
Sinning said they told her, “It’s all yours. Do what you want.”
That mural was completed Oct. 28.
“Everybody seems to like it,” Sinning said. “A lot of people in the neighborhood walk, and it gives them something to look at.”
During the painting, people came up to Urbina and commented on what they saw in it and that they liked it.
Mural painting attracts audiences.
Mentis, who worked with her in Kokomo, said, “I especially love all the people coming around us and telling us what a good job we’re doing.”
The Kokomo work was the first mural for Mentis, who’s from Greentown and a criminal justice major, but plans to switch to art and minor in criminal justice.
She learned from Urbina’s experience, and not just painting.
“Even though I was at times frustrated with what I was doing, she was always there to tell me that it would turn out okay, that I shouldn’t worry, that I should just let it flow,” Mentis said.
The project also gave her an appetite for doing more murals and commissions in the future.
Although the murals at Black Dog and at the Sinning home are similar in their abstract swirls, the Markland Mall work is flowers and hummingbirds.
For a future mural, Urbina would like to do something more realistic and with people, although she’s not a realist painter and likes her abstract ones the most.
She has about a year and a half until she graduates, and she’s thinking about going for a master’s degree in art.
She also wants to apprentice for someone who’s also been doing murals for a while, but it’s hard to find someone experienced willing to take on someone new, she said.
But she has faith in what’s come to her, including opportunities, and that they’ll continue.
“I do really believe that all the gifts that I’ve got have come from God,” she said.