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Business owner commissions Gainesville mural on hotel wall
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Rosie Falconi, an Atlanta-area artist, looks at her sketches as she works on a mural Thursday on the side of the Guest Lodge Gainesville. Falconi, who has been creating custom murals and illustrations for almost 14 years, completed the mural in approximately a week. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Jay Singh, owner and general manager of the Guest Lodge Gainesville, wanted a way to thank the city that’s given him so much.

So Singh commissioned artist Rosie Falconi to paint a mural along one exterior wall of the hotel, located at 520 Queen City Parkway. The mural is an homage to all the best parts of Gainesville.

“A lot of my family, my friends or customers who are transients come here and ask, ‘What do people come to Gainesville for?’” Singh said. “That was my inspiration. Why do people come here? This community has given me so much, so this was my way to pay respect to the city that’s given me my business.”

The mural, which is nearly complete and will receive a final clear, sealing coat Friday, shows highlights of the lake, mountains and downtown.

“We’ve got a dreamy look of the mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the blue and the mauve,” he said.

Singh said foliage in fall colors is also depicted, and a fisherman in the lake attempting to catch a big bass.

“But he’s missing it, and the bass is free and alive,” Singh said.

A rowing boat is shown, and the colors of the oars are those of the Lake Lanier Rowing Club. Finally, the city square and local landmarks are depicted, including Brenau University, Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center and the hotel itself.

A “cool, colorful rooster” rounds out the mural, to represent the city’s poultry industry.

Singh said while the mural was expensive, he felt passionately about doing it.

“We want to be part of the city,” he said. “People are sick and tired of cookie cutters. They want something unique and nice.”

Singh said the mural was an opportunity to connect his business to the community in a way large hotel chains can’t.

“We get people coming in from different walks of life,” Singh said. “In March we get these rowers, in October we get car racing people and in the middle of the year we get fishermen. Gainesville has a lot to offer people, so much that the local population sometimes doesn’t take advantage of it. But there’s so much here.”

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