In the summer of 2014 local artist Sky Black began work on the “Sound of Flight” mural on the Eastern wall of the Orpheum Theater. Black’s partners on the project were the experienced creative team, Mural Mice artists R.E. Wall and Maggie Dewar. The mural is the first of such a large scale to be constructed by the young artist and is full of his signature creativity.
Sky Black has made a name for himself in the Flagstaff community with his surreal and imaginative artwork. With the “Sound of Flight” mural Black has been able to transfer his unique style to a much larger work. The first half of the mural, which was completed in 2014, depicts a large grand piano on one side of the wall. The top of the piano is thrown open and birds are bursting out from the inside and flying across the wall. The subject matter that Black has envisioned shows a great regard for the mural’s location. The grand piano can be tied directly to the Orpheum’s role as a place of performance and entertainment. However, Black has put his own unique spin on the concept, using birds as a physical manifestation of music. Standing back and looking at the mural as a whole, one sees it come to life with the movement and energy of a multitude of birds in flight. However, each bird also comes with its own distinct character and one must marvel at Black’s attention to detail throughout the piece.
The mural is not only impressive as a visual work of art, but also as a community endeavor. From the beginning, Black and the Mural Mice have worked tirelessly to raise funds and begin construction on the mural. With the help of the Mural Mice Black conducted an online campaign to raise money for the project. His fundraising campaign also included community events, such as a benefit held at the Orpheum Theater. Through his campaign Black gained much support from the Flagstaff community and in the spirit of public art, the people were able to directly contribute to the mural that now colors the Orpheum Theater.
In the summer of 2015 Black will continue with the second half of the “Sound of Flight” mural. The second half will include human figures and will pay homage to the beauty of Northern Arizona with a depiction of the Grand Canyon. When it is complete, the mural will be a truly spectacular sight for the Flagstaff community to call its own.