behind the mural

Artist Erich Campbell spent the summer working on a wall-sized mural at Taco Diablo on Beverly Road. Campbell, a 1989 Mt. Lebanon grad and chair of the Butler High School art department, has been getting all kinds of good feedback on the project, including plans to have it done as a tattoo.

Enter Taco Diablo on Beverly Road, and the bright, 14-by-18-foot mural that covers the whole back wall is guaranteed to make you hungry! The mixed media mural, telling stories of peppers, agave plants, taquitos and tacos, is the handiwork of Erich Campbell, a 1989 Mt. Lebanon grad and chair of the Butler High School art department for the past 20 years.

Campbell, who lives on Woodhaven Drive with his wife, Kristen, and children Brodie, Liam, and Chelsey, loved murals as a kid and has done large scale work previously, including a 9/11 mural at PPG Place. But when Taco Diablo owner Jeff Iovino asked him last spring to do the mural, he said, “If you want it to be awesome, you gotta give me all summer.

“I knew some of that rich background in Mexican art” he explains, “but this is the first time I ever did anything with this much color. And he needed to do research: “I didn’t want to be influenced by the other images out there.”

Patrons are finding the mural awesome. “They say they want to make a tattoo out of it or a T-shirt,” Campbell says. But the biggest response has been, “I can’t believe you painted it.” Seems most locals know Campbell as a longtime Mt. Lebanon High School football and track coach.

That’s OK with Campbell, who is happy to illustrate that a jock can be an artist or vice versa. “It was an awesome experience,” he says. “I loved doing it.”

Find him on Facebook.