Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza
Painted by muralist Hans Joseph Geist, mural features Brighton's historic past, including Brighton’s founding fathers Daniel Carmichael and Dewey Strong. It also showcases a rich agriculture history with Bob Sakata and honors civil rights activist Guadalupe Villalobos Briseno. Historic Brighton at Founder’s Plaza is located at South Main Street and East Bridge Street.
About the artist:
Not only is Hans’ artistic talent making a Brighton spot more "bright," but his passion for the deep historical research in our town is heart-inspiring.
Hans shares his career and inspiration in the following biography: “Working as a mural artist can be challenging, yet very rewarding. Born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, I have enjoyed the beauty of southern living and have since had the opportunity to spread my artistic wings. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling and meeting so many wonderful people while experiencing many diverse opportunities in my career. My artwork is my life, and I thank God for the gift.
While in high school I painted my first murals in the gym and also painted signs and billboards for baseball -advertisements, and designed business logos. After graduation in 1994, I joined the Army National Guard, and painted murals of our company mascot in the barracks during boot camp. Upon returning from my training, I started college at Nicholls State University and would work various jobs for income. While attending college I had the privilege of going overseas for an art tour, where I was fascinated by the rich culture of Europe and greatly influenced by the art. In 2000, I received my Bachelor’s degree in art and went on to start my own business, really enjoying the pleasure of working full time as an artist.
For several years I did air-brushing, graphic design, and sign work at a studio gallery that I opened in downtown Houma, which also allowed local artists to display their work. In 2003, commissions to paint murals on buildings in downtown Houma would become the start of my mural painting career. Some murals were created for historical purposes, some for recognizing
our veterans, and other murals were painted following Hurricane Ida to bring some much-needed color and hope after a devastating blow to our community.
I have also fabricated sculptures and other public works of art. A few of prestigious works that I have accomplished over the course of my career are logos painted on the Saints training camp in Metairie, and a 300 ft. logo painted on the dome roof of Southern University in Baton Rouge. I have also designed posters for a Broadway show in New York, and several festivals including Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and Voice of the Wetlands in south Louisiana.
As an artist, I have found inspiration and motivation in preserving the memories and significance of those cultures or places which might have otherwise been forgotten. I consider it a true blessing and an honor to have a job that I enjoy, and has enabled me to create works of art for such a special purpose. My work spans across the Gulf coastal area including libraries, museums, restaurants, office buildings, and churches. While doing some residential work, most of my business is either commercial or commissioned artwork.
At 46 years of age, I am married to my soul-mate and appointed ‘constructive critic,’ Sonni Collinson Geist. Together, we are the proud parents of four beautiful children.”