KEYSER, W.Va. — The Highland Arts Unlimited Public Arts Committee has selected Luke Urice as the artist to paint a mural on the west side of Solar Mountain Records, 21 Armstrong St.
The design concept references the importance of the railroad to local history. The business is near the former railroad depot and machine shop. The former B&O Railroad made the area a strategic place during the Civil War, when it was fought over and eventually separated from Hampshire County to become Mineral County in 1866.
The train is made to look like it is driving into the foreground for a depth effect, according to committee member Jill Baldinger.
Urice painted the mural at Kirkwood & Rogers Law offices this past year and is just finishing up a mural above North Branch Brew Pub. He has experience with painting large signs at Urice Supply and displaying art at restaurants and shows.
Born in 1983 and a lifetime resident of Keyser, Urice has a natural talent for drawing and painting. He has always been focused on art, inspired by characters from books, movies, video games and other talented people in his family.
He was always encouraged by friends, family and teachers to make art, which always made him feel good just to see them react. Urice started thinking about art as a career at an early age and was impressed by all of his art instructors all through school at WVU Potomac State College and Frostburg State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a dual major in painting and illustration. His art jobs have varied. He recently had his caricature art displayed at a restaurant and he worked three years as a graphic designer. His main focus is anything with oil/acrylic painting and digital illustration, but also does airbrush, sculpture and pastel.
The committee expressed appreciation to individuals who submitted designs.
Highland Arts Unlimited public art projects are sponsored by the US Wind Force Foundation, Tucker Community Foundation, donations, and volunteers.
To make a donation, send a check made out to HAU with “Public Arts” written in the memo area, at HAU, Box 63, Keyser, WV, 26726.