Music, dance, and drama patrons have been gazing up at ceiling murals depicting sky scenes since performing arts venues were born in their modern form, explains Craig Williams, principal with David M. Schwarz Architects, the lead design architect on the new Gaillard Center. Andrea Palladio’s 1580 Teatro Olimpico likely inaugurated the tradition, with buildings following suit around the globe.
It’s only fitting, then, that the $143-million Gaillard Center—promising to play an integral role in the Holy City’s arts culture once it opens next spring—is crowning its performing arts hall in the same way. New York City’s EverGreene Architectural Arts, which has worked in famed theaters, churches, and civic structures around the country, created a mural that will surround a chandelier as the focal point of the auditorium’s elaborate ceiling. Artists painted an evening sky onto 25 panels in their studio, and these will be installed into the ceiling, beautifully tying the past to Charleston’s bright future.