Roy’s Big Mural

Another huge mural graces downtown Phoenix, on the Valley Youth Theater’s corporate office. 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 portfolio.

Roy was given 20 years of photographs of the Valley Youth Theater’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.

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16 thoughts on “Roy’s Big Mural

    1. I think I have photographed approximately 30 outdoor murals in central Phoenix, most in the actual downtown area. I know of a couple more in that geographic area, at least. Then there are others outside that area and some in Tempe, where Arizona State University is. But I think the biggest concentration is in downtown Phoenix and I think there will probably be more coming (I hope) since people seem to enjoy them.

    1. I recognize Cats, Wizard of Oz, Little Women (I think), and I’m wondering if Pirates of Penzance is there, only because it looks like a boat of some sort in the back.

  1. A beautiful mural with such interesting detail and color. I find it surprising that a he would pick such a large project for his first mural.

  2. What a thrill for the young actors who played these roles to see themselves on a giant mural years after the fact! I think the large boat might represent Showboat and the characters on the far left side look like they are from Oliver. Please sir, can I have some more….

  3. Not only do you open us up to interpretations of your creativity with your photos, but the content is thought-provoking alos… layers within layers… Your work reaches new depths and meaning… kudos!

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