A big splash of color for Troy
Kevin Clark has spent more than a month standing on a motorized lift drawing the interior of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall outside for all to enjoy.
Clark, a noted local muralist, was putting the finishing touches on a towering painting of the interior of the entertainment venue on the blank side of a three-story brownstone across the street at 50 Second St.
It's been a time-consuming project: Clark can't simply lean back from his work like an artist at an easel.
"I have to paint some, then lower the lift and walk back to look at it from a distance like someone walking on the street would," Clark said last week, his clothing looking like an artist's palette smudged by an array of exterior acrylic latex paint colors. "It's not easy working on something this big because it will never be right until you get the little details to show up from a distance."
The Arts Center of the Capital Region and the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation are funding the work.
"The music hall wanted to do something on that wall and the owner of the property was all for it," said Amy Williams, president of the arts center. "We thought that many people may not know how beautiful the hall is, so we decided to bring the venue out into the world for all to see."
The work shows a couple sitting in a sky box overlooking the stage with the pipe organ, the large chandelier and other sky boxes in the background.
The center of the work focuses on the faraway stage and single entertainer at a microphone, giving the work the trompe l'oeil, or three-dimensional, look.
Clark said the work will last for decades.
"It's on the shady side of the building, which will keep it from fading for a long time," he said.
Clark, a full-time muralist who does interior and exterior work, got his start in the early 1990s painting the murals ''Toast of the Hudson'' and ''Troy Pub & Uncle Sam Brewery'' on the walls of Brown's Brewery at 417 River St.
The colorful "toast" mural on the side of the five-story building depicts a large version of the face of the owner's wife.
"That was my hardest job because I had to go up and down five stories and walk up the street a long way to get a look at it as I painted," Clark said. "I also had to make sure the owner's wife looked good."
Clark also painted the "Welcome to Troy" mural on a white retaining wall at the intersection of Burden Avenue and Mill Street in South Troy, which depicts the Burden water wheel.
The city will hold an official unveiling of the music hall mural at 5 p.m. Aug. 31, Williams said.