Joining the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in 2010 and seeing firsthand the unique creativity and community inspiration of public art, local artist Michael Pyrdsa, of Hometown, knew that he'd eventually like to find some way to add his own touch of color and artistic talent to downtown Tamaqua.

Finding the outdoor canvas became a collaboration with local business owner and family friend Sean Job, owner of The Happy Ending Pub on Route 309 South.

Finding the cultural subject matter relevant to the venue was the choice of a simple but powerful, fun image of community gathering and local commerce beer.

"Slightly in the style of trompe l'oeil ("to fool the eye"), you want people to remember the art and remember where they saw it," says Pyrdsa.

"Seeing a 20-foot glass of beer, spilling onto the highway on a hot summer day, is the type of artwork that not only brings business, but lifts spirits as well," Pyrdsa added.

"That uplifted feeling or passing thought of celebration can then become an emotion that a visitor will associate with a trip through Tamaqua."

The mural project began May 21 and was recently completed.

Plans include a public mural release event and community get-together in the near future.

Progress pictures of the mural, along with other samples of Pyrdsa's artwork, can be viewed online by visiting his website at [1].

Pyrdsa has been painting out of his private Schuylkill County studio for the past 24 years.

His contemporary realist oil paintings have been featured in collections from California to New York City.

His work has been exhibited in major East Coast art galleries from Maine to Florida.