Doug and Sharon Quarles have become popular with locals and tourists alike over the past two months for the large mural they have been painting on the side of Lowe’s Grocery Store.
Doug Quarles said he expects the mural to be completed today or tomorrow. His wife Sharon expects a small ceremony to be held in front of the mural tomorrow. “We want to have an opportunity for people to gather and dedicate this mural to Tucumcari,” said Quarles. “The people’s response to our work has dedicated this mural in our hearts.” Doug Quarles said he has been uplifted by the positive comments from onlookers. The painting process is not tedious for me,” said Quarles. “It is exhilarating. I like to share my art with everyone. I’ve never gotten so much attention for an artwork before.”
Quarles said people from as far away as France have marveled at the mural and signed a guest book.
“Two guys from France came by while I was painting,” said Quarles, “and talked with me for about 20 minutes. They said they really liked the detail and perspective of the mural. One wrote in the guest book, ‘This is great! It should be all over America’.” Quarles said Tucumcari residents have been just as forthcoming with their positive comments.
“A lot of locals stop and talk with us or drive by and honk or give the thumbs up,” said Quarles. “Some of the local kids have come by and told us that if they saw anyone trying to damage the mural they would ‘take care’ of those individuals.”
The Quarles hope that Tucumcari will become known as a mural city. Dough Quarles said half a dozen prospects for new walls to paint are in the works. “We are negotiating with some business owners about concepts and financing,” said Quarles. “I hope to one day paint the side of the Apache Motel. That would qualify as the longest mural on Route 66 at around 300 feet.” Quarles said he has heard that the city in the U.S. with the most murals has 20 to 25 murals. He said he wishes that Tucumcari will one day surpass that city in the number of murals.
“We have talked with other artists,” said Quarles. “It is our hope that we can work with other artists and really start turning murals out.” Greg Baldwin said Roger Lowe, the owner of Lowe’s Grocery Stores, took one look at a sketch from Doug Quarles and immediately told Baldwin to give the okay to Quarles to begin the mural. “I asked Roger Lowe about the possibility of Doug and Sharon painting a mural on our building,” said Baldwin. “He took a look at a sketch by Doug and said, ’Let’s get it done’.” Baldwin said he considers the mural to be a permanent part of the Lowe’s building.
“Just as we maintain the artwork inside the building, we will ensure that the mural is properly maintained over the years.
Baldwin is exploring ways to promote the mural.
“We want to get a post card of the mural done that will be sold all along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles,” he said. “This mural will bring more people to Tucumcari. More local business should get murals painted on their buildings.”