The north side of the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is getting a long-awaited facelift and by springtime residents and visitors will have a beautiful painting to look at.
World renowned artist Michael Noel Wallace is painting a mural on the north wall and hopes to have it complete by April. The mural will be completed in three phases. The first phase, which began Dec. 31 and was completed by Jan. 3, involved Wallace outlining the piece which will be three giant columbine flowers.
Wallace said he and Dr. Michael Maddox, executive director of the TLCA, decided on the columbine because not only is it the state flower but Palmer Lake is the founding place for the flower.
“The hope is that people will come and take their picture in front of the building,” Wallace said.
“I always wanted to turn that wall into a giant masterpiece,” Maddox said. “Everyone has said it will make TLCA a landmark.”
Maddox approached Wallace a few months ago and after talking with him agreed on a price that was within the TLCA's budget. Maddox is hoping it will attract people to the town.
“We're trying to do what we can to benefit the town of Palmer Lake,” Maddox added.
Wallace has painted murals in such places as San Francisco, Puerta Vallarta, Victor and the spa building in Manitou Springs. He studied art at the Lorenzo de' Medici School in Florence, Italy adding that it was an incredible experience for a boy who grew up on a milk farm in Elbert County.
Wallace's mom was an art teacher and when he was six years old she gave him some crayons and told him to draw a picture on the walls of his bedroom. He's been creating murals ever since.
“I dreamed of painting and travelling around the world,” Wallace said.
He's a popular artist in Puerta Vallarta where he created Catrina figures for Los Muertes Brewing. His work can also be found on the walls of the Teatro Limon. How Wallace came to paint the Catrina figures and his inspiration for the paintings can be read at http://losmuertosbrewing.com/beer-blog/.
Wallace plans to start the second phase of the TLCA from Feb. 7-10. He welcomes anyone who wants to watch him work. He will be painting the background and shading the petals of the columbine flowers with lavender, blue and cream colors. Phase three will involve touching up the masterpiece.