Monday, November 7, 2011

Magic Maze's Green Dragon

Ever wonder who is responsible for all those distinctive Midway ride art? To be honest, I never did in the past; it was just something in the background, helping provide some sort of thematic difference between each ride. Ride X was all about wizards and dragons, while Ride B is about genies and harems. This year, however, I spent more time actually looking at these fully mobile murals, and grew to appreciate the genre.

The dragon above was on the Magic Maze, and was designed and painted by Duncan Design, a company based out of Santa Rosa, California. Duncan Design is headed by "Artistic Director" Greg Duncan, an artist with a degree in Theater Arts. His eight employees come from diverse artistic backgrounds, with many of them having expertise in theatrical design. They do a little bit of everything; as the website states, "we offer award-winning design and fabrication for entertainment venues, restaurants, amusement parks, and retail malls." Checking out companies like Duncan Design always makes me wonder what life would be like if I'd taken a different career path. While I'm happy with the route I've taken, I still think it would be pretty cool to work at a place like this, and to get to be a part of the long tradition of carnival art and design. For now, I'm content just wandering the Fair and checking out all the background details that sometimes get lost behind the flashing lights, blaring music, and clanking machinery of the rides themselves.

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