When it comes to the topic of love and harmony, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall could spend hours discussing her desire to make the world a better place.
Tuesday afternoon, Marshall joined Dallas art leader and visionary, Tex Moton, for a special presentation with Dallas Love Field to amplify the Mavs’ commitment to leadership and diversity within the community and the duo provided rich and thorough examples of how to live out love in everyday life.
“For me, it’s all about three L’s,” Marshall said. “I’ve tried to practice this in every job that I’ve had, including the Mavs.
“I believe as a leader, there are three things that I really need to do. Listen to our people, learn from our people, and love our people. It’s important for me to truly, truly love them as people, not just as employees.”
Moton is the artist who designed the Mavs’ graffiti-inspired City Edition uniforms last season and one of his most recent projects with the franchise is a graffiti mural splashed across the beams and walls at Dallas Love Field’s Parking Garage C, level 2, and in the terminal. People arriving at Dallas Love can also find other Dallas Mavericks inspired work sprinkled all throughout the airport.
The creative work was specifically designed to be bold and welcoming to travelers when they first step off the airplane all the way to the parking garage. The other Mavs’ wall art inside the airport is computer-generated, while the parking garage art was all created by hand, thanks to talents of Moton.
One of the first questions that Marshall and Moton discussed was his inspiration behind the art and they each shared what the Dallas spirit of “go big or go home” means to them and the city of Dallas.
“To me, it just embodies a culture, the way we present ourselves, that big southern attitude,” Moton shared. “The unity, diversity…I think that just spreads to the entire community. It’s something that resonates throughout the Dallas Metroplex and you can just feel it from the people and the energy in the city.”
Marshall echoed his sentiments.
“For me, I think it means that we show up with big thoughts and big ideas and big action plans, too,” she said. “We show up with ideas bigger than anyone’s ever thought of. Things most people would think are impossible.
“But Nelson Mandela said, ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ So ‘go big or go home in Dallas’ means we are doing the impossible and sticking with it until it’s done.”
Marshall and Moton discussed a variety of topics, like the inspiration behind last season’s City Edition uniforms and the purpose of bringing Dallas’ vibrant street art scene to life. The Mavericks didn’t want to outsource the project to a large design firm with no ties to the city. Rather, they wanted a local artist and Moton was the perfect person to bring the vision to life.
At the time, it was a dramatic departure from the team’s usual look, but that innovative approach was exactly what the Mavs’ desired. Marshall felt like that same graffiti look deserved to be on display at Love Field.
“Before COVID, I traveled a lot,” Marshall told the virtual audience, “and I thought ‘we need to be here…we need to take over this airport.’”
Marshall said once thoughts entered her mind, she knew Moton was the artist to bring her vision to life. Besides designing the Mavs’ City Edition uniforms, Moton also redesigned Mavs’ headquarters and painted unique artwork all across the walls to bring excitement and hope to employees in their workspace. He’s also been involved with several other projects with the Mavericks like creating a new basketball court for students at Paul Quinn College.
Then last spring with the nation on lockdown, Moton stepped inside Dallas Love to spray paint unique art graffiti in the parking garage.
“It was an interesting time because of COVID hitting,” Moton said. “I thought it was something we could do to speak to the team spirit, but also to uplift everybody in their comings and goings.
“It gave us a great opportunity when the traffic was down to get in there…and then when everybody got a chance to travel, they got to see something that was warm and inviting from this city. It was a great opportunity during this weird time just to touch people.”
Moton said he best expresses love through his artwork and he wants the public to feel hope, warmth, friendliness and openness whenever they gaze at his work.
He explained it like this: “When I see somebody who might not be having the best day and they walk by one of my murals and they look up and they take that in – I think that’s when I have the ability to touch somebody and show my love through my artform. That’s one of the gifts God gave me to speak love through artistic language.”
The duo explored many more topics, and the public can watch the entire episode at this link here (trust me, it’s full of uplifting and inspiring stories and topics and worth a listen).
Perhaps one of the most powerful parts of the conversation touched on what Marshall and Moton hoped the audience took away from the special presentation.
Marshall reflected on one of her favorite quotes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that says “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
She said to summarize that “my takeaway is let’s lead with light and love. That’s how I think we’re going to get through both pandemics, the COVID-19 health crisis and the social justice desire that we have in this country. So let’s lead with light and love and be very intentional about it.”
Moton agreed with Marshall and added the importance of expressing empathy and kindness to others. He believes that God gave him a platform to shine the light on others more than himself. Moton noted that as a society and culture, it’s very easy to be down and he wants to encourage the public with words of love and hope.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge everyone’s importance,” Moton shared. “We all need to come together, we’re all key players in this game.
“I want others to know how important you actually are. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but you impact people whether you know it or not just from being around them. Your simple smiles or gestures – they truly touch people. You can never undervalue your ability to touch a person and leave a lasting impact.”
To watch the full interview, click here.