Welcome to “Where Independence Begins,” a tactile and interactive mural that highlights the history, Client Services, products, and manufacturing at Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth. This mural, painted by Fort Worth muralist Kristen Soble, has a pop art feel and explodes with bright, bold colors. Paint drips and splatters give the images a sense of movement and fun. Stainless steel railings run throughout the mural that contain braille messages. Located throughout the mural are six audio devices that provide audio description. The final section of the mural provides a tactile 3-D relief of the entire piece. There are also other tactile elements, such as raised areas, throughout.
We hope you enjoy your experience!
The mural begins with a large tactile display of the Braille alphabet in a white graph.
Next to that is a giant hand containing a braille message that says, “This mural was made for you.” The index finger of the hand has a blue fingernail and is positioned over an oversized Braille word “Independence” that flows through a bright yellow beam of light.
Next, Willie Fay Lewis, Founder of the Lighthouse, cooks at a gray and white stove, stirring an orange pot. She wears a red skirt, a bright green blouse, and has a blue cowboy hat hanging down her back. Her short hair is purple and she sports a red button earring. A tag reads, “In dedication to our Founder, Willie Fay Lewis.”
Next, a young girl reads a large braille book. Inside the book is a braille plaque that says “Braille is knowledge and knowledge is power. ~Louis Braille.” The little girl has long magenta and pink hair and she wears an orange sweater.
A woman is at a stove, stirring a pot. She wears a red skirt, green blouse, and has a blue cowboy ha
Centered in the mural is a lighthouse that emits bright yellow beams of light in both directions. Huge lettering spelling out “Where Independence Begins” span across the mural. On either end of the light beams are large braille letters, spelling out the word "Independence."
Next, a man with vibrant blue skin wears a red skullcap and a pair of low-vision wearable glasses that help him see the green clipboard he is holding. He sports a white shirt with a label that has the words “visually impaired” crossed out and replaced with the word “capable.”
Next is a handheld magnifying device with a yellow frame and blue, red, and green buttons. The device is hovering over the Lighthouse mission statement, magnifying the word “empower.”
Painted image of a man using assistive technology. Next to him is a magnifier
Two gentlemen are walking together. The older one is visually impaired and uses a cane as he is being led by the other gentleman. The first man has an orange skin tone and green hair. He wears green glasses, a pink fedora, a red shirt, yellow pants and blue shoes. The other man is slightly taller and wears a green shirt, red tee shirt, blue pants, and green shoes. He has a yellowish skin tone with purple hair and a purple beard. They stand in front of a silhouette of downtown Fort Worth.
Next is a large Braille message that says, "Take the first step."
Next, a woman uses her yellow guide dog to safely travel down the street, holding a green harness. She has purple skin tone and a big mane of vibrant blue hair. Smiling, she wears a white shirt, an orange cardigan sweater, blue pants and purple shoes. She holds a green to-go cup of coffee.
This section starts with a line drawing of the original six-room house where the Lighthouse began. It displays the house number 1720 and has yellow shutters and a blue door. Above and slightly to the right of the house is a purple wooden chair with a green woven cane seat and back rest, to represent the caned chairs that Lighthouse employees made for many years.
Next, a large pair of pink glasses have messages in the lenses. The right lens says “No need for sight when you have vision!” while the left lens has the same message in tactile braille. In front of all of these items is a large orange fountain pen.
image of a house with the address 1720. A chair, a pen, and oversized glasses with Braille message.
A man with a deep red skin tone moves a box of copy paper. He wears an orange hard hat, a pair of dark blue glasses, a light blue shirt, and green pants. On the side of the box is a yellow longhorn cow with a brand “FTW,” again to represent Fort Worth.
Next to him are a bright pink broom and a purple mop, again representing past items manufactured at the Lighthouse.
A man holds a box that has a longhorn on its side. Next to him are a mop and broom.
This section contains a miniature 3D relief version of the entire mural, allowing those who are blind or visually impaired to take in the entire mural all at once. This relief is made of wood and is sealed with a black paint. Below the miniature is a raised signature of artist Kristen Soble.
Spanning the entire mural is a series of stainless-steel railings that include Braille messages. The messages, going left to right, are as follows:
“Where Independence Begins” is a large mural located on the side of Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth along Adams Avenue. What started as a neighborhood beautification project turned into a much larger venture as it expanded to include tactile and interactive elements in order to cater to people who are blind and visually impaired.
It was painted by Fort Worth muralist, Kristen Soble in the Spring of 2022. It uses latex paint and includes eleven stainless steel rails, as well as six audio devices.
Kristen Soble is a Visual Artist, based in Fort Worth with her husband and two boys. She feels like she was born with a pencil and a brush in her hand and can’t remember a time where she was not creating art. She has been a professional artist for 15 years, focused mostly on creating large scale public art. She works passionately to create engaging murals, unique atmospheres, and visual experiences that inspire creativity and joy. While her style is bold and bright, with splatters, drips, texture, and patterns, she is also extremely driven by each client's individual needs and expectations. She believes that everyone is creative and it is her greatest accomplishment to help bring her clients' vision to life.
Voted Best Artist, editors pick 2021, and reader’s choice 2022, by Fort Worth Magazine. Clients include: Fort Worth Zoo, Magnolia Wine Bar, GM Financial, Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe, One Safe Place, Near Southside Inc.Worthy Co., and many more!
Learn more about her, and explore some of her projects at
The mission of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth is to empower individuals who are blind and visually impaired to live their highest level of independence. This is accomplished through our Client Services and our employment opportunities.
In 1935, Willie Fay Lewis moved to Fort Worth and started the operation in a small six-room house in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood. At the time, workers made hand crafts, curtains and pillowcases, as well as caned chairs.
Today, the Lighthouse operates in an 80,000 square foot facility. Workers manufacture spiral wound tubes, military grade boxes and energy dissipating pads, among other products. There is also an optical lab on site.
Learn more about Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth by visiting www.lighthousefw.org