Roy Sproule on Revolver Records

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

It's about time Phoenix sees some serious mural love. In the interest of giving credit to their artists and because we're losing track of the times we've said, "Woah, when did that go up?", we bring you Mural City, a series on the murals springing up around town -- their artists, their hosts and their inspirations.

Excuse Roy Sproule while he apologizes for the paint on his jeans and sweat on his forehead. He's been in the sun, painting the side of Revolver Records for almost twelve days. He's on his sixth gallon of paint.

He apologizes because he's been awake painting Billy Holiday's face (and taking coffee breaks at nearby Conspire) for the past 24 hours. Exhausted, he says he'll leave his makeshift studio a little early tonight; He needs at least a few hours of sleep for another Monday morning at Luke Air Force Base. He says his position in avionics is actually the reason for the tight schedule on his mural.

He'll be deployed for Korea on August 5.

Roy grew up in Detroit before moving to Phoenix for the Air Force. If he could do it all over, he says he might have tried the art thing full time. We (and the folks at Revolver) are just lucky he's still doing it in his free time. Actually, that's literal -- Roy's painting for free.

He was approached by Kenny Barrett, Program Manager of Roosevelt Row, who had been talking to T.J. Jordan, owner of Revolver Records. Ultimately, T.J. donated his wall, Kenny found Roy and Roy donated his time, paint and imagination.

Roy's on his third coat of Billy Holiday's face. Maybe later, he says, he'll paint the words she's singing next to the phonograph and revolver. Then he'll finish up the detail of the girl with the headphones on the far right.

In the Revolver Records' parking lot on Second and Roosevelt streets, he mixes whites, blacks and blues, but says his next experiment will be adding some red (he thanks Lalo Cota for the suggestion). It would be fitting to have some kind of jazz playing while Roy paints -- rather his CD player is stuck on Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. He's been listening to the one track all day.

"It's the most I've painted in this amount of time, so I'm in a bit of a daze," Roy says. "But the opportunity I've been given and the space I have to work with is unbelievable."

While his work on Roosevelt Row has been mostly solitary, Roy has has a few visitors who ask him about his mural, offer suggestions or simply ask for directions. One of his consistent visitors is Lindy Drew, a Phoenix-based photographer, who has been documenting Roy's progress (and gave us permission to use her photos).

Roy's work can also be seen on the 69- by 11-foot wall Valley Youth Theater's corporate office (on Third Street, south of Garfield Street in Phoenix). While he finished the mural depicting children's story characters and successful alumni in late 2009, he admits to stopping by sometimes to add a few coats of paint.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.