After seven weeks of mapping, sketching and painting, Lauren Lee has finished a 153 foot mural near Jaycee Park in Tempe.
"Someone was out here and they asked me, 'If you die, what do you want to be remembered for?' I said, 'This,'" she said.
The City of Tempe had a contest to paint the city-owned building. Lee applied along with more than 60 artists. She became a finalist and had to present in front of a panel of 15 members. Neighbors who see the mural every day made up the panel along with workers inside the building.
"They are the people vested in this community," she said. "They come together and chose four finalists. They had us all make a design and then propose the design to the committee."
Lee won with her concept "Don't Wake the Dreamer," and began work in early May.
"It takes a lot of physical activity," Lee said, "and actually it's mostly the heat. Once the sun hits me, I'm out. I'm like a vampire."
The mural depicts a statuesque woman adorned in flowers and fast asleep.
"I knew I wanted something that had to do with dreaming," she said, "because people come to Tempe to dream. Go to school. What do I want to be? Who do I want to be? I wanted it to represent the subconscious or the other world that we live in."
Above the dreamer is a sky of stars.
"The constellations are all correct," she said. Although the stars in the constellations are correct, the constellations are scattered across the wall in no particular order and do not mirror the sky. So passing cars, bikes and walkers will see Orion and Gemini.
"I look at this honestly now that it's done, and I was looking back at it thinking, 'This is human effort. This is what you can do if you come out and you can paint for seven weeks,'" she said.
The City of Tempe is always looking for artists. If you would like to check out jobs click here.