Have you ever seen purple rain on a penguin? How about a bright-orange giant whale? If you’ve visited us recently, you’ve seen all three. After undergoing a major renovation in 2014, Harrah’s Resort SoCal decided to turn some of our new, blank walls over to local artists. From dancing penguins to pouty puffer fish, you’ll find bright and beautiful artwork sprinkled throughout our resort.
Mural #1: “Freedom”
Michael “Monstrinho” Amorillo, an Encinitas-based artist brought his graffiti and street style to Dive. Strongly influenced by the sea and his love of surfing, Amorillio coated four walls with ocean-themed artwork that add a sense of tranquility and playfulness to the pool area. In addition to riding the waves and later painting about it, Amorillo is also heavily involved in charities for children. Amorillo’s mural has a “child-like” feel, making it the perfect compliment for our family-friendly area at Dive.
Mural #2: “Ballroom Dance”
It took about two weeks for San Diego artist Michael Summers to bring his mural to life. Situated just outside the entrance to The Events Center, Summers’ painting of penguins dancing in rainbow rain captures fun and entertainment in his unique style. “With animals, I can create protagonists that people can relate to…without having a preconceived notion of being a specific person,” said Summers. While painting, guests and staff were so enthralled and asked so many questions about his creation, Summers had to have his assistant come in to talk with admirers so that the mural could be completed on time. His second mural in San Diego county (the other located in downtown Carlsbad) Summers hopes to focus his future efforts in this direction. “I enjoy painting murals the most,” he said. “It’s my favorite part of the job.”
Mural #3: Spray Paint Mural
Kris Markovich is another San Diego artist whose inspiration comes from the love of a sport—skateboarding. While spending hours in terminals and on planes trying to find new skateboarding adventures, Markovich would draw to pass the time. Soon he went from a pen and a pad of paper to canvases and finally advanced to the large mural outside our elevator tower in our parking garage. Best known for painting abstract faces and specifically eyes, Markovich spent more than 100 hours on our mural using bright colors to represent the sunny SoCal feel. The mural spans 1,859 square feet and can best be seen from inside the rooms in the north tower of the resort.