Artists hand-paint the White House

Artists at the Chicago Scenic Studios on the city's North Side look like they're dancing on the ceiling and walking on the walls. The group, which builds sets and paints backdrops for clients worldwide, is working on a huge mural of the White House for the Republican National Conventions.

"This is a backdrop of the White House. It's approximately sixty feet by thirty feet in dimension," said Les Woods, scenic artist at Chicago Scenic Studios.

The mural, which will take 180 hours to complete, is headed to St. Paul, where the RNC convention begins on Sept. 1. The hand-painted mural will be part of a party, "The White House in Minnesota."

"Every now and then to check what we're doing to make sure it does make sense we step up on the ladder or a lift to give us an idea of the grand picture," said Janet Peterson, scenic artist.

In this digital age, an image produced on a computer would cost a lot less money. But, the quality, according to Chicago Scenic Studios, just isn't there.

"The hand painting treatment we give it gives it a little more life, more depth and just a warmer feel than a digital piece," said Ken Zommer, Chicago Scenic Studios project manager.

The mural costs $23,000.

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