Payson may be an art-friendly town, but it has never been big on murals.
Two artists want to change that.
Heather and Daryl O’Berg, of O’Berg Arts, are bringing color and design to once-drab and dreary walls.
Their latest project takes them to the Journigan House, Payson’s newest restaurant on Main Street, where they are adding full size horses to a lengthy concrete block wall.
As diners pull into a parking space, the mural gives the impression they are pulling up to the hitching post, where half a dozen stallions and mares are already hitched.
Daryl said Jimmy Johnson, the restaurant’s co-owner, had the idea for the wall’s horse motif, given Payson’s cowboy history.
Given free rein, the O’Bergs based the art on real horses the couple or their friends knew and others pulled from the Internet.
The rough, exterior wall posed problems when it came to painting small details, but diners and passersby will mostly see the horses at a distance.
It took the couple about a month to complete the mural, with a little help from a friend — a window painter who had also painted the windows at the Knotty Pine Café.
The O’Bergs came to Rim Country two years ago to be closer to family. They quickly realized despite the art-filled art galleries around town, little showed on the outside.
“We noticed the town was devoid of art,” Daryl said. “There seemed to be a lot of available spaces.”
The pair has already added their splash of color to several areas around town. On Main Street, they painted a Goddess of Justice for a lawyer’s office and at the Veterans Helping Veterans thrift store, Heather painted a 13 by 25 foot mural honoring U.S. veterans. The image includes service men and women from many branches of the armed services in uniforms that include World Wa II, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War and peace time.
Daryl said the response from the community has been fantastic. “This town needed a little color,” he said.
The couple does not just paint commercial spaces. They also offer wall glazing, faux finishes, and murals work for the home. In the past, they painted mock stones on doorways, added large and small scenes in living rooms and even simple accents in a home dining area.
The couple started painting together soon after they met.
Both were struggling artists when they formed a company in California, where business grew quickly. But they gave it all up to move to Costa Rica to seek a simpler life.
They found the simple life also meant they were broke.
Daryl opened an Internet café in a tiny village, but after a business deal fell through, the couple decided to move back to the states. After a brief stint in Alabama, they moved to Payson to be closer to Heather’s mother in Pine.
They decided to try art again and so far, that gamble is paying off.
For more information, visit www.obergarts.com or call (928) 978-5364.