Fort Wayne artist Theoplis Smith III is creating murals depicting the history of the Epic Center. So the facility formerly known as Spiece Fieldhouse, 5310 Merchandise Drive, has both a new name and a new look.

Thank to Smith, an interior section now boasts colorful images depicting the field house’s history in Fort Wayne.

“We hope the mural tells a great story of the evolution from Spiece Fieldhouse to the Epic Center, the benefits of sports and fitness and the importance of our community,” said Lisa Click, vice president of marketing for the Epic Center.

The minute a visitor enters the Epic Center, the story begins unfolding in splashes of color. “Theo has an amazing talent and we felt he would honor our story,” Click said. “He has an uncanny ability to see a space, absorb information and opinions and create something beautiful and meaningful.”

Smith, a Fort Wayne resident is a self-taught artist, is also known as “Phresh Laundry.” Why the moniker? “It started with a load of dirty clothes,” Smith said. “I was sobbing over a basket of clothes! I was at a breaking point. The only time I felt relief, or a sense of self-worth, was in talking to people, praying or painting.”

Smith intends to finish the mural soon, adding color and images daily.

Epic Center’s November/December newsletter disclosed that the investment group would begin publicly announcing the new name soon. The newsletter explained: “You’ll see three distinct areas: ‘Spiece Fitness,’ ‘Sports,’ and ‘Adventure.’

“Amongst other things, ‘Spiece Fitness’ will have an even more complete range of equipment in a modified footprint. ‘Sports’ will modify its eight basketball courts to four — to put in four turf fields! The new addition, ‘Adventure,’ will be an Adrenaline Family Adventure Park similar to the one in Fishers. Your kids will love it and we bet you’ll find your ‘inner child’ when you join them in their adventure.”

On Feb. 4, the Spiece Fieldhouse sign rose between banners with the Epic Center name and reading “Watch Us Now!”

“We are so proud of the role Spiece Fieldhouse has played in the lives of local athletes, families and people who seek to improve their quality of life by pursuing general fitness and wellness goals,” Click said.

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