‘An explosion of color’ – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

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Maryland artist shares insights on Medford’s new Margaritaville mural

A mural created on the side of Roxy Ann Lanes faces the new Compass Hotel by Margaritaville. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

Thanks in part to the inventory and selection of a Southern Oregon art supply shop, an East Coast artist says his second Medford mural is the first to completely ditch cheap spray paint as his medium of choice.

Maryland-based artist Kirk Seese, who painted a vibrant accordion mural that greets guests to Medford’s Compass Hotel by Margaritaville, said his latest mural — completed last month — was spray painted using nothing but Montana Gold spray paint.

“I probably spent $1,500 at Central Art Supply buying spray paint,” Seese said. “That was the project that I finally abandoned Rust-Oleum.”

Painting the mural was a whirlwind journey that involved a cross-country trip in his Ford pickup with 20 crates of spray paint, 16 straight days of painting — on days that sometimes reached 95 degrees — and rigid deadlines as he worked to make the necessary progress on a concrete canvas bigger than 120 feet. But for Seese, it was all a labor of love.

The accordion panels are meant to resemble tropical snapshots or postcard scenes at first glance, with tones intended to go from morning to day to dusk to night within the 14 panels, according to Seese.

“But you can’t, like, point out anything in particular,” Seese said.

An obscure object may appear to be a palm tree or a beach ball at first glance, but eludes the viewer upon closer inspection.

“It’s an explosion of color,” Seese said.

The CEO of Tribal One, which owns the hotel property as well as Roxy Ann Lanes on land belonging to the Coquille Tribe, sought out Seese after being impressed with the “Transportation” theme mural Seese painted last fall behind the Southern Oregon Historical Society building, at 106 N. Central Ave.

Seese drove across the country and completed that 30-by-96-foot mural in downtown Medford within nine days in September — one day ahead of his scheduled completion date of Sept. 13, according to the Medford Arts Commission.

For Margaritaville, Seese said he initially considered a beach scene for the concrete wall, but perished the thought.

“But that’s kind of predictable, you know,” Seese said.

Instead, he opted to use an artificial intelligence algorithm to generate different portraits for Seese to paint based on search terms such as “Margaritaville,” “beach” or “night tropics.”

“It searches the Internet and kinda spits out these collages,” Seese said, adding that the images were “not exactly representational.”

The first few days were for sketches, priming and the base coat.

“I gave myself one day to complete each panel,” Seese said, adding that extra time each day would be used for borders or final touches.

Seese’s work is visible for anyone with a front-facing room at the hotel.

“What I loved about it is that you can see it from the rooms,” Seese said. “You always get that Margaritaville vibe.”

Roxy Ann Lanes was far from just a blank canvas. He found inspiration inside the bowling alley, too.

“They have a carpet mural,” Seese said. “It’s so cool. I took pictures.”

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.





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