A man, a professor, an artist, and most prominently, a muralist.
Fred Haberlein displays his art with his heart. His logo is a heart with a lightning bolt, letting him coin the nickname “Lightning Heart.”
Haberlein is kind of a big deal around the valley with much of his art on display, but not in the typical fashion. Fred, the “Lightning Heart Muralist,” paints murals that become the community’s just as much as they are his.
Fred has painted 129 murals throughout the West over his career. Thirteen of those murals have been destroyed through the years whether by being painted over or the building being demolished. Even though it hurts a little, Fred has a parental outlook on all of his murals.
“They’re sort of like kids,” Haberlein said. “You do your best and let them go. If something needs fixing and I’m around, I’ll do it.”
His first mural was in Oracle, Ariz., back in 1977 on Mother Cody’s Cafe. Fred painted two murals on opposite sides of the building, “Desert Night” and “White Buffalo — The Stampede.” Sadly, both works are no longer in existence but Haberlein’s passion was only ignited by his first experience in the place he describes as a hippy community.
Fred loves his job as a muralist because it allows him to travel. He loves the fact that the people are great and they are happy for a creative change. The murals he creates become an identity for the town because they always have a regional significance.