Downtown Murals Changing at Circus Circus Reno
We went downtown to see the final moments of the city's most captivating murals.
A very noticeable part of downtown Reno disappeared today. But in just one week, the walls outside Circus Circus will sport a new artistic look. Today (Thursday), amid a bucket of white paint, a basket of brushes and an ominous-looking paint sprayer, a last look was taken at the little boy known as “Tom.” As the casino’s Darrel Clifton describes the beautiful portrait, "Here comes this little boy out of the plain white building...so, I think that's kind of neat."
There are 6 other huge murals along the Circus Circus complex facing Virginia Street, like “Queen of Hearts..." a Washington State artist came all the way here to draw her beautiful face surrounded by roses. Next to her is “Yellow Bird,” who's been watching passerby for a year now. Spread across the wall next to that is the mural titled, “Owl Be Waiting…its jazzy, graffiti-like shapes and eye-popping greens and yellows staring down tourists. And there's "Tom." Artist Stefan Cellier says that is his son looking at you. As he told us, "I took a picture of my son looking at the window, and it gave me the inspiration to do that."
The Mural Marathon Project started when 2 UNR officials were walking by what were blank walls at the time. They thought the walls were too blank, and presented their mural idea to Circus Circus. The casino’s Debbi Engebritson said, "And all of a sudden it became 'Hey let's make public art' and 'Let's make it 7 different pieces of public art.' And then it turned into a competition that changes every year."
Queen of Hearts, Yellow Bird, Owl Woman and Tom were only temporary installations to enhance the casino district and the white walls of Circus Circus. The next mural marathon begins next weekend on July 15th. Artist Stefan, who's from France, doesn't feel bad about his son Tom being covered up. He says it had no message...just that "He looked so cute looking out the window. I love my son, that's all." Even though passerby Harvey Lee sees much more. As he told us, "It says, 'Let me break out of this cage that I'm in. Make me free!"
They all met their final moments at the end of Darryl's and many volunteers’ paint brushes. Then by the casino’s power paint sprayer, which wasn’t artistic…but very efficient.