Mural brings paradise to Regency Newcastle
February 28, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Walk into the pool room at Regency Newcastle and you are immediately transported to paradise.
An elaborate mural painted by artist Dan Meredith brings occupants to a rich, sand-covered beach, a tropical cantina and a peaceful courtyard with a solitary water fountain, all within the confines of four walls at the luxurious independent and assisted living facility.
Residents, staff members and visiting Newcastle City Council members have raved about Meredith’s little slice of paradise. What makes the feat even more remarkable is the fact that the mural is the Renton artist’s first large-scale piece.
“I would have never thought of doing something like this,” Meredith said. “I began this with some trepidation, but it’s been a wonderful experience and I’m hoping to do more of them.”
Art has mostly been a hobby for Meredith, who endured a 30-year career as a carpenter, helping build the high rises that make up the Bellevue and Seattle skylines.
He started on the mural in June 2012, after Regency Newcastle staff asked him to paint a Caribbean beach landscape on a single wall of the pool room.
When he finished the idyllic beach scene, Meredith assumed his work was finished, but the staff was so pleased with the results, they asked him to do another wall in the room, then another and yet another. More than 850 man hours later, Meredith had painted every wall in the pool room.
“Each time I finished a wall, I thought, OK, I’m done,” he said. “I’m very flattered that they wanted me to continue.”
What makes the mural unique, though, are the personal touches that reflect the personalities and ideas of the residents at Regency Newcastle. Subtle details sprinkled throughout the mural pay homage to the many residents who came and offered Meredith suggestions and company as he worked late nights on the mural.
“I feel as though I can’t even really take credit for this,” Meredith said. “I mean, I’m just the instrument by which all of the residents inspired me and gave me ideas and support.”
For example, the painted jukebox in the cantina scene is detailed with some of the residents’ favorite music, including classics by Doris Day, Glenn Miller and Ella Fitzgerald. In addition, the bartender at the cantina is painted in the likeness of one of the facility’s residents.
Meredith’s favorite part of the mural, though, is the serene courtyard with a bubbling water fountain.
“With that scene, I really took my time,” he said. “When you come in, this is the first thing you see, and I attempted to make it beautiful and I hope I’ve succeeded.”
The mural has been the talk of the residents and truly reflects the character of the unique community, said Paul Reynolds, the sales and marketing director at Regency Newcastle.
“It brings warmth to the pool,” he said. “We’re really a festive group here, and it just kind of spoke to our theme of having fun and having a party.”
Meredith is not modest when talking about the mural. The project has been a life-changing experience, one that has reignited his passion in art and given him the confidence to pursue it as a career.
“Anything I’ve done for a career, I’ve always been bleeding or sweating or breathing really hard, so the idea of doing something like this for a living just gives me chills,” he said. “It’s so exciting.”
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