Wednesday, March 5, 2008

W.L. Mural - 256,000 sq. ft.

The sky is the limit for mural artist
Dec 10, 2007 - 05:41:46 CST
By TONY SPILDE/Bismarck Tribune
Life, as always, is looking up for Ric Sprynczynatyk.

And up. And up.

"I am a very optimistic person, actually,"he said. "I'm always looking up. But with a head as big as mine, trying to hold up my fat noggin can be a bit of a struggle."

If you don't know Sprynczynatyk, you probably know his work. He spends a great deal of time with his head in the clouds, recreating skies around the world that are a close second to Mother Nature's originals. He just finished a ceiling in China where a patron looked up and thought it was going to rain.

Around town, Sprynczynatyk's most notable work is on the ceilings at the Bismarck Airport, Fiesta Villa and Space Aliens restaurant. Today, he'll finish his smallest commercial job - the foyer in the new Eye Center of the Dakotas building on Divide Avenue. At about 256 square feet, it's considerably smaller than his last job. Sprynczynatyk returned in October from Macau, where he painted the ceiling at the sprawling Venetian resort hotel. At 256,000 square feet - nearly six acres - it is the world's largest mural.

Sprynczynatyk was in China for nine months, then went to Las Vegas, then New York, back to Vegas and now home. He leaves again for Vegas on Thursday. He's the lead painter for Denver-based Sky Art, which does a lot of work in casinos and hotels.

But Sprynczynatyk likes the little jobs, too. Especially the ones at home.

"It's nice when somebody locally gives me a chance," he said.

The eye doctors on Divide Avenue were more than happy to extend the offering.

"Since we're eye doctors, when we were planning the building, we wanted it to be really visual," Dr. Robert Nordstrom - who lives on Vista Lane, by the way - said. "Throughout the entire office we've featured North Dakota artists, and we had Ric do the ceiling."

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