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Artist Ed Mell Opens Up About Stunning New Painting at Wrigley Mansion

Painting of a desert landscape
“Sonoran Skyfires,” a new painting by artist Ed Mell, is currently on display at the Wrigley Mansion.

The Wrigley Mansion recently became home to a spectacular new piece by local artist Ed Mell. “Sonoran Skyfires,” commissioned by the mansion, was inspired by the iconic and stunning vistas seen from the property’s Geordie’s restaurant. “This is where you get the glimpse of that dazzling Southwest sunset, with the powerful colors portrayed in the painting,” Mell says. “My intent was to capture one of those fleeting moments of a luminous Sonoran Desert sunset, on a scale that would enhance its magnitude. Aligning with my heritage, it is a real honor to have my work on display in one of Arizona’s most important historic landmarks.”

Q&A With Artist Ed Mell

How has Arizona’s landscape inspired and influenced your work throughout your career?

Early on, I took a job teaching at the Hopi Reservation for a summer in Northern Arizona. This region, often referred to as the Colorado Plateau, served as a catalyst for my work. The colors, lights and formations—I wanted to bring them to life and thought I could bring something new to those scenes through painting.

What does it mean to you to have gotten the commission and to see your work on display at the Wrigley Mansion?

This is my first commission for them. When I was little, my friends and I would ride our bicycles around the property. There was a certain mysteriousness and prestige that always intrigued me, even as a young boy. To be a part of the mansion now and have my art hung on its walls, it’s very satisfying—not only as a local artist but also as an Arizonan.

Where did you find the inspiration for “Sonoran Skyfires”?

The dining room at Geordie’s, from which the painting is inspired, is all about the views. This is where you get the glimpse of that dazzling desert sunset, with the powerful colors portrayed in the painting. This was the inspiration for “Sonoran Skyfires.”

Where else can people find your work?

In Phoenix, those interested can stop by my gallery, Ed Mell Gallery, by appointment only. In Tucson, I have several works hanging at the Medicine Man Gallery, as well as the Owings Gallery in Santa Fe.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Right now, I’m working on a show for the Medicine Man Gallery that will debut in February. This will include more modernist work, which is one of my two areas of focus, the other being realism. In March, I will have a showing at the Ed Mell Gallery that will include a combination of my two styles.

See Ed Mell’s “Sonoran Skyfires” painting by booking a reservation at Christopher‘s The Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 602.955.4079


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