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Artist Debbie Viola has had the prestigious honor of being chosen to exhibit her faux finishing and mural talents at The Malcolm House, the first Historic Show House sponsored by Nassau County, NY. Most artists only attain such prestige by having a working relationship with a designer involved in a show house. But Debbie Viola was sought out personally when one of her murals was seen by the project’s Coordinator.
The 18th century floor of Debbie’s room was in such disrepair, that she opted to painstakingly wood grain each individual plank by hand. Debbie then trimmed the floor in a beautiful scroll border. She accented a dingy door with a beautiful Tuscan mural, added a peeled plaster effect to the walls, and even painted the refrigerator, all in an effort to restore beauty to this lovely historic icon.
I feel so honored to have been commissioned by the Glen Cove Housing Authority to paint an exterior mural/portrait of a Olympic Gold Medal Boxing Champion Howard Davis Jr. Mr. Davis came back to his hometown in July, and there was a big ceremony with local officials in his honor. The street was renamed after him and his dad, Howard Davis Sr., a boxer who had passed away earlier this year, and who was instrumental in his success. I was so nervous because I could not find a great reference picture to work with. So when I met Mr. Davis that day, I was so relieved that I had painted a close resemblance. What a relief! Mr. Davis was so moved by the mural when it was unveiled, that I brought a boxing champ to tears! I was invited by the Mayor and Mr. Davis to a private dinner. At the end of the evening, Mr. Davis came up to me and said that he was beginning to write a book, and now that he has met me, he wants to corroborate with me and include a chapter on me and the mural!
Howard Davis Sr. is in the center of the mural. When I asked what color the punching bag should be, I was given a picture of Mr. Davis’ bag, which I had to duplicate. The little angel on the left represents Mr. Davis Jr.’s mom, who passed away three days before he won the medal. When he heard of her death, he was torn. He wanted to go home and be with his family. But then his coach said, do what your mom would want. And he said at that moment, he knew that they would have to kill him in the ring to prevent him from winning the medal for his mother. And he won!
This truly was my most heartwarming and rewarding commission to date.