Choolaah - CODAworx


Submitted by Tom Megalis

Client: Choolaah Indian BBQ

Location: Cleveland, OH, United States

Completion date: 2017

Project Team


Jay Nesbitt

Wholesome International • Choolaah Indian BBQ


Raji Sankar



Tom Megalis


Megalis Studio was commissioned by Choolaah Indian BBQ to produce a series of permanent public art pieces for stores in Cleveland and Virginia. The parameters were the pieces had to have some Indian influence in the form of color, texture or imagery. The pieces ranged from 4 feet to 9 feet in size. I decided to create very textural pieces that incorporated found objects, paper and recycled materials.


Chief Creative Officer Jay Nesbit had a clear image of what the overall space of Choolaah was going to be. A clean, modern, almost gallery like setting. Large windows, open space. I decided that large bold colorful shapes would work well in that "gallery like" setting. The people from Choolaah were very open and giving. It was a great collaboration.


Jay Nesbitt visited my studio and we discussed size and "feel" of the art. Nothing specific. He was very open to my ideas and the images I wanted to create. I began with doing deep research on the Indian Culture. What are the colors? The food? The cultural icons? After this research I did multiple sketches that I sent to Choolaah for feedback. After that was complete I spent time in construction, all along sending images of my progress.

Additional Information

I see every project I do as an opportunity to be a story teller. Even if it's single person in an image, the color, space, posture, everything in the piece, helps to tell a story. Having my work be in public spaces, allows the stories, the art, to be seen and experienced by a variety of people from all walks of life. This is exciting and to me.