The once plain, white wall on the side of a Fremont Boulevard building is now home to a large humpback whale.
The corner unit of the building, on the corner of Fremont and LaSalle, was long home to the dive bar Shadowbox, and in November, was overhauled into a new cannabis dispensary, The Reef.
The plain white wall has also been rehauled, thanks to the work of three local artists who created the humpback in a polyptych formation.
The Reef's co-owner, Cary Stiebel, posted a mural commission online and invited artists to submit their ideas. “We wanted to choose a local artist that would provide an illustration with a local meaning," he says. "And the coral reef theme with the humpback whale was attuned to the Monterey Bay area.”
Artists Lisa Haas, Hanif Wondir and Maryia Hryharenka managed to finish the mural in record time—less than two weeks.
They didn’t utilize a grid method or a projection, instead using chalk to outline the mural.
“We drew everything out in chalk and checked the perspective across the street. Lots of crossing back and forth,” Haas says. “It was really fun to watch it come to life everyday.”
Not only does the work of art play a part in beautifying the area, but it’s also increasing business for The Reef as it draws in the art lovers. “We have had a lot of people come by and they come inside to look at the art there too,” Stiebel says.