Paintings are so much more than pictures in a frame ... they are unique stories unfolding in front of the eyes of the beholders. But, what if the paintings could actually speak ... what would they say?
If the painting located in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Panama City, Panama could speak, these are just a few of the things visitors to the hotel might hear, "Welcome to Panama, the home of the beautiful pollera dance. We as a nation, treasure our traditional dresses and dances and we hope you will too."
"My name is "La Cumbia Cerrada". I consider myself very lucky as I am one of the most popular Al Sprague originals displayed for the public to see in Panama City. Although I have been here for some time, I didn't start in this location. Let me share the story of how I found my final resting place across from the front desk of the Sheraton."
"In the year of 1987, the U.S./Panamanian artist, Al Sprague was commissioned to paint a large original pollera for the owner of the Marriott Hotel in Panama City, Panama - this was how I came to be. Funny enough, my canvas didn't fit on a traditional easel so Sprague had to prop my sides up with boxes and other things in order to paint me. As you can see, I am much larger than the typical size painted by Sprague - my dimensions are 12 feet wide by 4 feet high."
"It took roughly 6 months for Sprague to paint me. Although, not known by many, Sprague's youngest daughter, Dagny, who was 5 years old at the time, actually helped with a spot on my far lefthand bottom corner."
"Upon my completion, my new owner requested I be displayed in the penthouse of the Marriott Hotel. The only problem was that I didn't fit in the elevator nor could I go up the stairwell. No worries, Sprague quickly discovered a way to place me on the top of the elevator and I rode to the top in style. But how did I eventually make it to the lobby for all to enjoy? Well, when the owner of the Marriott sold the hotel and the name changed to the Cesar Park, he stipulated that I was to remain at the establishment. Instead of gracing the halls of the owner's suite, he moved me down to the lobby directly across from the Front Desk and that is where I have been ever since."
"Many people have enjoyed standing in front of me and admiring the beauty of my composition. While standing there, you can almost hear the music in the background as the typical dancers close the circle of La Cumbia. I couldn't be more proud to represent such a tradition of my country and enjoy sharing it with all who visit. Thank you for spending time with me and I hope you will come back again real soon."
For more information on Al Sprague and his artwork, visit our websites, panamaart.com or alspragueart.com.