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Big Mural at Valley Youth Theatre

October 25, 2010 by Candace Porth

Another huge mural graces Downtown Phoenix, on the Valley Youth Theater’s corporate office at 807 N. 3rd Street. Roy Frank Sproule III, an avionics technician with the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Luke AFB, west of Phoenix, came upon the 69 x 11 foot wall during one of Phoenix’ famous First Fridays in 2007. He had never painted a large-scale mural on his own but, after spending six months putting a portfolio together, he approached the staff at the theater and his idea was met with enthusiasm.

He began painting in March 2008 and spent 17 months working on the mural, all while working at his full-time job in the Air Force. He donated his time (2,000 hours) and his own money to the project in order to build his profile.

Roy was given 20 years of photographs of the Valley Youth Theatre’s productions and, from these, he made a collage of over 50 photographs to fill the 759-square-foot wall. He then outlined the shapes with charcoal dust, a technique used by fresco painters during the Renaissance, using perforated patterns created in Photoshop. Interesting that his technique used technologies spanning centuries.

I’m embarrassed to say that I only recognize a few of the productions represented as theater is not my main cultural interest. Can you identify them?

There are several articles on this project, including Roy’s views of what a mural should mean to a community–he thinks the community should benefit by it–and the artist’s role in creating it. Here is another and at this site is a list of several more.

Roy has another large mural in Downtown Phoenix, finished just this last August, that I’ll write about in my next mural post.