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 Roy Sproule  (1982 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Michigan      Known for: large-scale public mural painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A native of Detroit, Michigan, and stationed at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, Arizona, Roy Sproule, an avionics technician, has painted a mural* on the side of a wall of the Valley Youth Theatre's corporate office at 807 North 3rd Street in the Arts District of Phoenix.  The work, 69 feet wide and 11 feet tall, is a collage* of large images of famous alumni of past performances of the 20-year old Theatre such as singer Jordan Sparks and actress Emma Stone as well as famous children's story characters including the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz

“There are just some things you can’t do in small spaces,” he says. “Large images have a different effect on people.” When he came across the empty wall on the high-traffic street, Roy knew it was 'just right' for a mural.  He went home that night and spent the next six months putting together a portfolio." (Artibise)

"In December 2007, Roy returned to the building and knocked on the door.  At the time, he didn’t even know who owned the building, just that it would be a great opportunity for him to establish himself as a muralist in Phoenix.  After meeting with the Valley Youth Theater staff, he ended up talking with Producing Artistic Director Bobb Cooper.  Bobb was enthusiastic about the idea, especially after learning that Roy would donate the project to help build his portfolio." (Artibise)

Sproule began painting the mural in March 2008 and completed it by December, 2009.  He donated his time, up to 40 hours a week and a total of at least 2,000 hours, hoping to build his portfolio for becoming a professional artist.  He worked many evenings using only two 500-watt halogen bulbs for light.  Bobb Cooper, Director of the Theatre, is so pleased with the mural that he has asked Sproule to paint four smaller walls within the theatre.

Sources:
Celeste Sepessy, Phoenix Magazine, December 2008, p. 50

Yuri Artibise, The Man Behind the Mural: Roy Sproule and the Valley Youth Theater Mural, Posted 12/04/2009, www.downtownphoenixjournal.com/2009/12/04/man-mural-roy-sprole-valley-youth-theater/

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