Rooftop mural announced for Embassy Suites Riverplace Downtown

13th annual Artisphere kicks off with large-scale project by artist August Vernon

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Artist August Vernon will paint this mural on the lower rooftop of Embassy Suites River Place Downtown | image from August Vernon

If it’s even possible, the views from the rooftop restaurant UP on the Roof are about to get more impressive.

Artisphere presented by TD Bank kicked off its 13th annual event with an announcement that a 7,000-square-foot mural featuring Greenville’s history and institutions will be painted on the roof of the Embassy Suites Riverplace Downtown.

“We are thrilled to open the festival this way,” commented Tod Tappert, president, Artisphere board of directors. “We welcome opportunities to incorporate creative endeavors such as this into our weekend-long arts celebration. It speaks to our mission to engage, inspire, and enrich our diverse community. I can’t wait to see the finished product in July.”

The mural, designed and painted by artist August Vernon, will take several months to complete and features Upstate landmarks and civic leaders. It will be visible to guests from their hotel rooms and patrons of the rooftop restaurant.

Vernon began painting at noon today and completion is scheduled for early July in time for rooftop firework watching at UP on the Roof.

“If anyone has any pull with Mother Nature, it’d be great if you could help us out and hold off the rain for a few months,” joked Artisphere executive director Kerry Murphy at a media breakfast to kick off the festival.

Vernon, in cooperation with Windsor Aughtry Hotel Group, which owns the hotel, will create a mural that will incorporate vibrant colors and imagery to depict Greenville’s history, institutions, visionaries, geography, and attractions.

“The focal point of this piece will be the Liberty Bridge and Reedy Falls,” stated Bo Aughtry, principal, Windsor Aughtry. “But it will also include iconic buildings and natural landmarks like the Blue Ridge Mountains, which can be seen, in real life, from the hotel. Greenville visionaries Max Heller, Tommy Wyche, and Buck Mickel are captured in conversation on the Liberty Bridge. So often these three would meet and plot the course for the future of our city. I am sure they would be proud of what Greenville has become.”

Vernon began his formal training at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh during the late ’80s and launched his illustrative career in 1990. His early years took him through Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Palm Beach, Fla.; Miami; and Key West, Fla. Fascinated by both the scale and beauty of murals he had seen in his travels, Vernon set out to create larger-scale works of color and vibrancy. Today, he creates from his studio and gallery in downtown Gulfport, Fla., working on commissions throughout the United States.

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