Edmonds artist and muralist Andy Eccleshall is at it again, this time adding his signature fusion of art and local history to the lobby of the Edmonds Theater.
“The idea came up while I was doing the “Back in time on Main Street” mural on Fourth Avenue this summer,” he said. “A friend and I were talking, and this idea began to take shape. I was introduced to the theater owners, they liked it, and here I am!”
The mural is in two sections. The one closest to the door shows an historical view of the theater in the mid-1920s, shortly after it relocated to its present location from across the street (the original theater occupied the space currently home to the Edmonds Bakery). The sign on the front identifies it as the, “Princess Theatre,” the name which it retained through many decades until being renamed the Edmonds Theater.
The next section closest to the balcony stairway depicts a montage of Hollywood stars including Clark Gabel, Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis and James Dean. “I proposed several of these, and the theater staff picked their favorites,” said Eccleshall
One face that may be unfamiliar to most is on the far right. His name is Jaque Mayo, the retired Edmonds dentist who purchased the theater and retained ownership until his recent death. Mayo was a great fan of Clint Eastwood, whose portrait fittingly dominates this section of the mural.
This is Eccleshall’s fifth major work on public view in Edmonds. This latest commissioned effort joins his three outdoor murals and an indoor work which graces the main staircase of the Edmonds Police Station. In addition to murals, Andy’s work includes numerous large canvases, some of which can be seen (and purchased) at the Cole Gallery. Known for sweeping views and dramatic skies, many of his works are inspired by Puget Sound and the Olympics.
Eccleshall, a transplant from the UK, lives in Edmonds with his wife and son. “It’s truly an honor to work in one’s own town,” he says. “The more work I do here, the more I become invested in the community; it’s like leaving a part of me with each work I do, especially with the public pieces. It truly becomes a personal thing.”
The new theater mural will be finished this week, and will be ready in time for the Dec. 13 opening of “The Hobbit.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel