Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vinoy Wall Mural

I am very happy to have gotten great publicity this week from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.  Quite a big spread too as it was the whole page wide and over a third high.

Here's what the copy said.
"Ready to make his mark on history"
Artist Robert Schott, above, inspects some of the original 1925 plaster ornamentation Tuesday around the murals that he and fellow artist Tom Stovall are working to restore at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg. Schott, left, is rising to the challenge to measure the artwork for the restoration project. The Vinoy has uncovered four murals on the north and south end of Marchand's main dining room. The artists are hoping to restore the works before the resort's 20th anniversary of its reopening next month.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wall Mural Documentation

This is post 2 about the mural restoration of The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, a five star resort located on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

In order to go forward with the Vinoy mural restoration the existing and original mural had to be documented in detail.  The main reason being the wall on which the mural is painted needs to be patched and resurfaced and that process will mean the mural itself will be coverd up.  So we had to make sure a complete documentation was achived.  Basically we photographed and did a series of actual tracings of each image in the mural while taking measurements as to the exact positioning of the mural elements on the wall.

So when we begin to recreate the mural we now know where on the wall each element goes and with the tracings and photographs will be able to recreate faithfully the mural.

As an example here is a photo of one of the sections.  You can kinda see where the plaster is falling off certain areas and the original paint has chipped off and faded.

Now in order to recreate the mural as faithfully as possible we are going to use a series of silk screens to get the basic shape and design up on the wall.  Then we will hand paint in the details and shading and highlights.
Here is a photo of one of the tracings with the image painted in with black.

So the process will be mostly hand painting but supplemented where appropriate with screens.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

I recently started a really interesting and challenging project.  The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is a five star resort located on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

The lobby
The Ballroom
This great resort was originally completed in 1925.  It florished for many decades before closing.  After 30 years and 110 million dollars the entire structure was completely renovated and modernized then reopend to great fanfare in 1992.  Since then “Grand Lady of the Bay” has enjoyed world wide recognition for excellence.
There are several restaurants in the Vinoy.  Guests enjoy fine dining at Marchand's and this is where I come in.  The walls in Marchand's originally displayed a mural.  During the restoration the lower portion of the mural was recreated after extensive repairs to the plaster and structure of the walls.  On the walls above the columns you can see the part of the mural which was restored.  The mural part above that area was covered up by panels.
Tom Stovall is the artist who headed up the team that recreated the mural 20 years ago.  At either end of the restaurant the Vinoy now wants to take down the panels and restore that part of the original mural underneath them so they contacted Tom to see if was available for the project.  He agreed to take on the project and contacted me to work with him.
This project has been in the works for several months but just within the last 2 weeks Tom and I have started to work on it.  The first phase of the project is to faithfully record the original mural areas which are to be restored.
In the photos below you can see either end of the restaurant with the panels taken down.  The area to be restored is 4 feet high and 36 feet wide.  The area needs plaster repair and other prepatory work before we can actually put any paint on the walls.

There is a lot of detail in the mural so keeping that in mind we approached this project carefully documenting every detail of the original image.  More in the next post about how we documented the artwork.