If you’re in the market for immortality, Douglas Rouse, an acclaimed local artist with a knack for marketing, can hook you up starting at a cheap — and possibly tax-deductible — price of $500.
For that money, your image can appear as part of a sprawling garden party mural that soon will cover the north, west and east walls of The Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery, 25 W. Cimarron St.
The wall painting, which Rouse started several months ago, will be the first in his “12-Murals Project.” The first one was an Impressionistic mural of a train station on a western wall of the Alpern Myers Stuart law firm at 14 N. Sierra Madre St.
But for this one, Rouse, strapped for cash, decided that instead of populating his mural with anonymous diners in a garden, he would give people the opportunity to buy their way onto the wall. There they can become “a permanent part of the community, whether they live in town or not, whether alive or not,” said Rouse, 44.
“They’re just so unique,” he said. “They could be a gift or a surprise for somebody. A person who I paint might not even know it until it’s done, and their mate or friend comes and shows them.”
The basic $500 gets your face in the stone archway, done in such a way that it looks like a chiseled bust.
Don’t want to be a piece of architecture? You can be one of the characters in the garden party for $750. And, if you want to really splurge, you can pay $1,500 for what Rouse calls a “premier” spot depicted as the mural’s artist, working on a scaffolding, or perhaps the subject of a garden sculpture.
All of this immortalization through art raises one significant problem. Say you pay $1,500 for your image in the painting. Then your archenemy drops some coin to be right next to you. Do you get your money back?
“I don’t think so,” Rouse said, laughing. “I think you just get (expletive)."
Thanks to the nonprofit Pikes Peak Arts Council, the project’s fiscal sponsor, donations may be tax deductible.
Rouse has done several large-scale murals before this project, including an 80-foot painting of the marine life around Antarctica on a wall at The Citadel mall. Other Rouse murals can be seen at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, Seven Falls, Starsmore Discovery Center and the Pikes Peak Heritage Center in Cripple Creek.
He’s also known for his 3-D-effect chalk art drawings, and he recently took the top prize in that category at the Denver Chalk Art Festival.