It has been roughly six months since the first day I unloaded the many gallons of paint, scaffolding and enough miscellaneous paint tools in anticipation of the year long battle I was about to begin. I had entered into discussions with JP Quick Development several months prior when he informed me he had purchased a B.A.U.M. (Big Ass Ugly Motel) as he described it. Once a Super 8 and Holiday Inn this 150,000 square foot building would be completely gutted to its raw walls and foundation.
What would eventually bloom would be a senior independent living facility that would be state of the art for the St. Louis area. The name will be Victorian Gardens. It will be an all-inclusive living facility for residents 55 and older. It is NOT a nursing home but rather a living community for independent, self-motivated individuals who want the freedom to live and travel as they please. Each studio apartment is around 800 square feet in size. Amenities include meals, spa, pool, theater, church, drug store, lounge. salon, dining, cafe and library. All is included in the price of the rent. Just imagine a cruise ship without the water.
My purpose in being brought into this was to take 15,000 square feet of flat, white walls and turn them into a visual living community. With the use of a creative painting method called Trompe L’oeil I will illustrate the stores, home facades and businesses one would typically see in a small town community. All walls are primed white when I begin. I discuss the basic look of an area with my customer and then do a rough sketch. Once agreed upon I begin to paint. While I usually never use standard wall paint for all of my murals I have chosen high quality finishes from Sherwin Williams for all of this art project. To date the material has met all positive expectations.
The project at this point has progressed half way through the contracted twelve month term for completion. There are two remaining 200 foot plus walls in the atrium, a chapel ceiling and a few more storefronts to complete before the end of December. The job has developed it’s own rhythm of progress and momentum is carrying it through. I look forward to posting photos of actual completed rooms but at this point some illustrations are in front of raw floors, trim-less doors and missing lights. Until that day comes please look around at these progress photos.