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A recent commission at the Castle at Park Plaza in Boston is designed for a wow factor that greets you at the front entrance. We blew the roof off with hand-painted murals of the firmament on coffered ceilings twenty-two feet up.
Sometimes our sky painting depicts a full range of sky colors, from honeyed tones near the horizon blending to aqua blues and clouds that are 15 shades of purply-pink. This ceiling mural, that spans eighteen coffered panels, offers the classic white puffy cumulus clouds on a cerulean blue background, the stuff dreams are made of, which was an intentional choice by interior designer Kristen DiBella of KD Designs. Weddings and receptions now have an ethereal canopy that sets the tone for joyful celebration.
How did we get to the ceiling panels? Two power lifts did the trick, and no, we did not lie on our backs to paint them, and yes, our necks, shoulders and arms had quite a work out. The job was done with our usual arsenal of tools; large sea sponges, 6-inch-wide brushes and lots of neutral base paint in a flat sheen. Anybody have a good massage therapist they can recommend??
Virtually impossible to miss, the imposing architecture of The Castle at Park Plaza was designed by William Gibbons Preston in the unmistakable style of a Medieval castle, also known as Romanesque Revival. The building was completed in 1897 and became a Boston Landmark in 1977. Originally built as an armory by the First Corps of Cadets, this particular space has had many identities, such as a ballroom for military personnel events, Boston University first library, a restaurant and now as a Longwood Events venue. Thankfully much of the original features, such as wrought iron railings, carved marble and brick details, and massive iron chandeliers remain.
Historic preservation often involves artists like us to continue the tradition of decorative arts, sometimes repairing existing finishes, and like this project, creating new murals that honor the historic and cultural significance of the space, carrying the beauty forward for future generations.
Before and After Photos of Coffered ceiling Sky Mural Painting
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