Mural, mural on the wall

Scott Robert Harvey

Commercial art? Scott Robert Harvey is most interested in creating large-scale art.

Commercial art? Scott Robert Harvey is most interested in creating large-scale art.

Photo By Nick Higman

“I have been painting since I was a little boy,” says painter and art teacher Scott Robert Harvey. “I like the ability to be able to express something beyond normal vision.”

Harvey’s current interest is painting murals. For his most recent creation, he composed a piece for Caterina’s candy store in the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. The resultant 8-by-20-feet mural features a snowy Lake Tahoe scene populated by hot-air balloons to represent the Great Reno Balloon Race, an airplane from the Reno Air Races, a female skier representing local recreation, and bighorn sheep, to represent the region’s wildlife. The name of the candy store is emblazoned in red tones above the landscape.

To hide the lights needed to properly illuminate the work, Harvey worked with local metal artist Greg Adams. They created forms that resemble mountains. The forms stand off the bottom of the mural by about a foot, providing space for the lights while also adding a further dimension of depth to the piece. It’s a creative solution to a practical problem that enhances rather than detracts from the work.

“The message … is the uniqueness of our area,” Harvey explains. The driving idea is to differentiate Reno from Las Vegas by showing the recreational and event offerings available here.

“It was a challenge to get all of the elements in and make them work together to create a scene instead of it just looking like I pasted everything in,” Harvey admits.

The mural is striking for its size and depth. The calm white, blue and deep green of the lake, sky, forest and mountains is punctuated with hot reds, bright greens, dark blacks and splashes of yellow in the colorful floating balloons on one side and the green, white and red dashing airplane on the other. The skier, dressed in a bright red jacket and green hat and boots, adds further color to the scene as well as dramatic movement as she descends a steep vertical downhill with poles in dynamic pose.

Harvey began mural painting about four years ago. It was a natural fit for this artist who previously worked for 10 years as a sign and billboard creator before becoming an art director for a graphics company. In addition to working as a painter, Harvey is also a teacher. He is currently teaching life drawing, adult oil painting and youth drawing through Sparks Parks and Recreation.

Harvey got his mural-painting start working with Reno-based Fox Interiors. Then about a year ago, he bought Metropolis Art Studio. In addition to murals, Harvey also does decorative painting and plasters as well as fine finishes. About 90 percent of Harvey’s work is done for residential clients. He says the Tuscan theme is most popular in this area. His other public works include murals at Bobby Page’s Dry Cleaners & Shirt Laundry and a large canvas at Walden’s Coffee House. He is looking to create more.

“The large size appeals to me,” Harvey says. “I like the handcrafted look of the mural. I like creating something so big that still reads as a painting.”