A 7,000-square-foot piece of original artwork has been unveiled from the rooftop of Embassy Suites RiverPlace Downtown, showcasing Greenville’s history, its landmarks, and some of its most notable institutions, as well as the community’s civic leaders.
Scenes depicted span the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Liberty Bridge — where Greenville vanguards Max Heller, Tommy Wyche, and Buck Mickel are captured in conversation — and together they tell the story of a vibrant community made up of visionary people.
The artwork, designed and painted by nationally renowned artist August Vernon, is visible to guests from their hotel rooms and patrons of UP on the Roof restaurant. The mural was commissioned in cooperation with Windsor Aughtry Hotel Group, which owns the hotel, and it joins other large-scale commissions Vernon has created for communities across the United States.
“Building atop a city-owned parking garage has its challenges. In our case, design dictated that one-half of our guest rooms, along with UP, looked down upon a stark white roof,” said Bo Aughtry, principal of Windsor Aughtry. “The mural was the perfect solution. Our guests and patrons love it.”
Vernon studied at Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His mural career was inspired by the scale and beauty of murals in Philadelphia; Baltimore; Key West, Fla.; and other places he’s traveled and studied.
Today, Vernon works from his studio and gallery in downtown Greenville. His art reflects an ongoing pursuit of originality, something he refers to as “the journey to the masterpiece.”