At 28, artist Dirk Rozich has already made a lasting impression in Sebring. His recently completed 1,800-square-foot mural representing men, women and moments integral to the town’s history is a colorful complement to the natural landscape of Schreckengost Park.
Commissioned by Paul Schreckengost, nephew of noted artist and favorite son Viktor Schreckengost, the mural took Rozich more than 700 hours to complete. In addition to members of the Schreckengost family, the work also depicts a variety of well-known images, ranging from the pottery Sebring is known for to the school district’s Trojan mascot to the park’s archway and fountain.
“It was a very challenging assignment,” the Alliance native says. “Since many of the 22 individuals in the mural have passed away, I often had to rely on black and white photos to get the faces right. I was worried that residents wouldn’t recognize the people I was drawing.”
Those fears, however, proved groundless, as passersby converged to watch him work.
“I was gratified that the people who walked up and looked at my painting knew exactly who was in it,” he says.
A full-time graphic designer by day, Rozich did much of his work during off-hours in marathon sessions that often lasted from dusk to dawn. Creating the images, he admits, did get tricky: After drawing the faces captured in the photos, Rozich –– along with his fiancée Nicole Wallin –– dressed in clothes reminiscent of the 1940s and ’50s, the time period the work represents. Then, he placed his camera on a tripod and set the timer and the couple would strike the poses he had designed for the mural.
Rozich is proud of the end result.
“I’m honored,” he says, “to have had the opportunity to do this. It’s the painting of a lifetime –– something that will outlast me.”
Next on the drawing board: Images of the vineyards of Tuscany that will grace the Frank A. Sebring Mansion, a historic landmark that’s being transformed into a country inn.
“I am,” says Rozich, “living my dream.”
For more information about Rozich’s work, visit www.dirkrozich.com