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New mural at Tucumcari motel July 22, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Motels.
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Richard Talley, owner of the Motel Safari on Route 66 in Tucumcari, N.M., sent along these photos of a new mural that’s been painted on the motel’s drive-up canopy.

It was painted by local artist Doug Quarles, and it depicts a young Elvis Presley in a 1959 Cadillac, stopping for the night at the motel.

Here’s a detail in which you can see the image of the Motel Safari sign reflected on the car’s chrome. Nice touch.

And Talley, in an e-mail, says the painting on the motel is not done:

Work is now beginning on a 1950s tour bus, with other famous figures to be seen!

First we started a sign war, when we changed some of our signage for the motel, and others scrambled to follow suit. Now we seemed to have started a new wall mural war, as the Blue Swallow Motel across the street is trying to catch up with a new mural they’re now working on, and I’ve heard of at least one more of the old motels is also looking to do a mural now! It’s all good for Route 66 though, and will hopefully draw some new tourist enthusiasm for Tucumcari, NM. They’ve had murals around the old Main Street areas for some time, and a couple on some old retail buildings on Route 66, but this is the first (hopefully of many?) on the old motels here.

More on the Blue Swallow’s mural:

Bill’s mural will be a copy of the front side of one of his rooms, on the back side, with Tucumcari Mountain, more cars and Hollywood figures. He has plans to continue wrapping around with more stuff, and even in his garages! [...]

Bill’s artist is from L.A., I believe, and has done movie sets.

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