A while back we covered the Horseshoe Mural Project, an amazing transformation of one man's basement into pretty much the most awesome place we can imagine on earth. At the time of our last writing, the mural was still a work in progress. Recently, the final intricate touches have been added and a new video is making the YouTube rounds. Now known as The Best Damn Room in the Land, the level of detail is simply amazing. From the press box, to the retired numbers to the state troopers standing high above C deck, everything is there. I honestly expected to see the team run out onto the field when the camera panned in on the south stands tunnels.
We caught up with the man behind the magic, Duane "Dewey" Richard and he was kind enough to answer a few of our questions:
11W: That is some incredible work. Can you tell us a little bit about your background in terms of art training?
DR: Art has been a part of me since I was born, I've always enjoyed drawing and painting and making things come to life. When I was 4,my Grandmother contacted an art professor at Wilmington College's to see if I could take art lessons from him. For the next four years, I'd sit in with college students and work on whatever projects they were working on. Later, Columbus College of Art & Design and School of Advertising Art in Dayton were two schools that taught me the basics -- computer graphics and such, but my career as a mural artist has just sort of happened. I've been a full time mural artist for the past six years now and in those 6 years I've never painted anything quite as grand as the Horseshoe mural.
11W: What other types of Buckeye-related art have you produced?
DR: I have painted Brutus on several corn hole boards, some rec rooms, etc. I painted a 2ft x 3ft canvas painting of Woody Hayes's face for a customer, but nothing like Horseshoe mural.
11W: How were you contacted to do this project?
DR: The Doctor who hired me to paint the mural, works in the same town I live in (Wilmington, Ohio). He just happened to be talking to someone about painting the mural in his basement, and they said I know just the guy. I don't advertise, so word of mouth is the best form. It travels quickly!
11W: How long did it take to complete the mural?
DR: The mural took almost a year, but that is only because I had other projects to work on during that time. If I hadn't had other projects going on, it would have taken me about 5 months to complete. If I ever paint another one, it'll go a lot quicker. I've learned the do's and don'ts when it comes to a mural of this magnitude.
11W: What were some of your bigger challenges producing the mural?
DR: The biggest challenge was trying to paint something that is virtually a circle and trying to paint that inside a room that is a square. The press box was a huge pain to paint -- there are 100's of little windows. Painting all the people was pretty intense.
11W: What's next?
DR: Both Cincinnati News TV Stations have contacted me to come up and interview the doctor and I and film the room I've received 100's and 100's of emails from Buckeye fans wanting the Horseshoe painted in their house. So someday, somewhere i'll be painting another one for someone. Although the next one I paint I'd like to take pictures from ground level to get a different perspective of the inside of the stadium. This mural was painted as if you were standing on C Deck.
11W: And finally a bonus question. What is your favorite recent Buckeye memory?
DR: Since the 1950's my Grandparents have had OSU season tickets So once a year I'll take my buddies and go to a game and have a blast! I always like getting there around 8am, it makes for a FUN day. One memory I have of relating to OSU is that my Aunt and Uncle were very good friends with Max and Mila Schlichter. So growing up I got to meet Art Schlichter a couple of times. That was cool!
From the sound of it, Dewey will be pretty booked going forward, but if you have a burning urge to turn that old Chevette you've had your eye on into a Buckeye helmet, you can reach him via email:
Duane "Dewey" Richard - firstname.lastname@example.org
Big thanks to Dewey, but before we cut out, we wanted to pass along the story behind an interesting photo he shared with us:
DR: I'm sending a picture of Art at the Scioto Downs Horse track. My father and uncle raised/raced horses in the 80's and guess who was always there sitting with them.. Art Schlichter. I really didn't know all about Art and what his problems were, because I was so young then but, as I got older and found out, I've come to appreciate what a classic picture this is.