Since its soft launch over Thanksgiving weekend, The Art of Ice Cream Experience has been an interactive playground for all ages. The life-size ice cream-themed pieces – from the massive soft serve chandelier that hangs above the reception area and the giant ice cream cones that flank the Custards Palace boxing ring to the bright oversized popsicles in Popsicle Paradise – spark guests’ imagination as they tour the exhibit.
In addition to the large physical elements, crafted by local fabrication company Southwest Scenic Group, are the numerous walls and fixtures that have been painted and lettered free hand by a handful of local artists that bring a range of talents to the experience.
The front reception selfie walls, second floor DJ booth and popsicle graffiti wall were all designed by urban contemporary artist, J. Pierce. Inspired by legendary artists like Warhol, Seuss, Haring and Picasso, Pierce is always discovering new insights and artistic visions largely from pop culture. Pierce’s artwork is described as both happy and intense with the use of his trademark bold, bright colors. The popsicle wall inside the Art of Ice Cream was first time he has used graffiti as a medium in a mural. The oversized sprinkle lips near the old-fashioned ice cream counter were also crafted by Pierce, who applied real sprinkles as a finish after painting the lips to give the pieces depth and play value.
Ice cream clouds that cover the wall inside Neapolitan Beach were the work of local talent, Dawn Bowman. The mural was created using Bowman’s faux painting mastery and creative genius. Using a combination of spray and brush techniques, she was able to create the clouds and floating cones. Upstairs, Bowman also hand painted the checkered floors inside the milkshake room.
Artist Kayla Newnam’s love of ice cream goes back to her college days where her senior thesis at the Pratt Institute of Art & Design in Brooklyn was centered around ice cream art. Newnam created the ice cream angel wings at the top of the staircase and trailing sprinkles down the stair way wall. The Phoenix Sundaes room is filled with hand painted sundaes, large and small, all painted by Newnam. She and her partner also crafted the 3D milkshakes lining the accent walls in the milkshake room. Newnam is heavily involved in the local arts community and participates in the Canal Convergence along the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Inspired by the interactive theme that runs throughout the Art of Ice Cream Experience, Katie Von Kral created a large coloring wall next to the ice cream counter. Guests are encouraged to pick up a marker as they complete their tour and add to the giant coloring wall before enjoying a full scoop of ice cream at the counter downstairs. In just a short amount of time, the beachy scene painted by Von Kral has been filled in with a myriad of colors and writing from the many guests looking to leave their mark at the exhibit.
The Art of Ice Cream Experience is a true reflection of the talents that these and other local artists to come have contributed to the exhibit. Thanks to the imagination, skills and creativity brought by the artists and craftsmen, guests are given a fully interactive experience filled with bright colors and textures ideal for capturing vibrant photos that make everyone feel like a kid again.
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