The Party Connection unveils new mural

By Ryan Ottney

August 15, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Driving down 11th Street in downtown Portsmouth, don’t be surprised when you suddenly find yourself next to a beautiful countryside vineyard. Artist Joey Shannon has painted the colorful new mural for The Party Connection.

Shannon graduated from Notre Dame High School in Portsmouth in 1999, and then enrolled in Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, to major in art with concentrations in graphic design, painting, and illustration. Later he spent two years attending the Creative Circus advertising school in Atlanta, and began building his career as a painter. For the past four or five years, Shannon has donated his paintings to the Notre Dame High School annual “Bid Your Heart Out” auction fundraiser. Some of sold for more than $20,000 to help the school.

He describes his style as “abstract color,” with realistic imagery. Many artists paint from a photograph, but Shannon said his work is entirely original, with images taken only from his imagination.

Six months ago Shannon returned to Portsmouth and was quickly offered work painting a mural at The Party Connection on 11th Street. The painting features a vineyard, brewery tanks, and a craftsman rolling a fine cigar — all things you might find at The Party Connection.

“It ties in with what we’re doing here,” said The Party Connection owner Bob Rutman. “We sell over 1,800 different wines, over 500 craft beers. We sell draft beer. We have a growler system. We’ve got the largest selection of premium cigars. We’ve got a big area. What you see in the mural is pretty much who I am.”

Shannon described his creative process.

“I drew it out on a computer, and gave (Rutman) a few ideas and he picked his favorite one. So this is the layout we used. After that, I scanned it up there and draw it out, then just the colors that come to me. I paint it up there,” Shannon said.

The mural is painted on the side of the Home City Ice building, facing The Party Connection. After two weeks, the mural is nearly complete. Shannon only has to finish some minor touch-ups and add logos from the Portsmouth Brewing Company onto the brewery tanks, and the Home City Ice logo on the horse-drawn carriage.

Rutman said he’s very pleased with the mural.

“I think it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s pretty obvious he did not paint a photograph. It’s very creative. Not too abstract, the way the colors pop out. It’s exactly what we talked about. It is a very unique mural,” he said.

Shannon said he’s pleased to see murals appearing all over Portsmouth, and he’s excited to have his work added to the landscape and compete with those artists. He already has more mural and painting work planned in the community.

The soon-to-be finished mural will be unveiled Friday, Aug. 16, from 5-8 p.m. during a special event at The Party Connection.

“We’re having an end of summer cookout, and Darren Mault from the Scioto Ribber is going to come up and setup his grill and he’s going to be grilling four-ounce slider hamburgers. We’re going to be grilling the small hot dogs and the small bun. We’re going to do some shrimp and veggies. We’re going to have vegetables and fruits inside, and cheeses, and we’ve got a live, acoustic band, Uncle Eli and the Acoustic Woo,” Rutman said.

For more information about The Party Connection, visit them online at thepartyconnectiononline.net or on Facebook. Joey Shannon can also be found on his website at www.creativejoeyshannon.com.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.