Artist Uses Greenway Self Storage as Canvas for Public Mural in Roanoke, VA

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A 20-by-100-foot corrugated metal wall belonging to Greenway Self Storage in Roanoke, Va., is being transformed into a public mural by local artist Scott Noel, who goes by the name Toobz. Called “Humanufacturing,” the work features a man seated, tapping a hammer against a larger man who is driving a nail into a tiny chair. Underneath the larger man is a likeness of a dog.

"It's a little guy working on a bigger guy who's working on smaller stuff for the little guy," Noel said.

Self-storage owners Tom and Cory Dorathy hired Noel after meeting him at the unveiling of “Whimcycle,” a mural he did for The Water Heater, a Roanoke performing-arts venue. The artwork was created as part of the Roanoke Art Mural Project and depicts a cyclist overheating while riding a melting bike.

The Greenway Self Storage project is being paid for in part from donations provided by storage customers and patrons of the couple’s custom-furniture and antique-restoration business. "I'd rather not divulge [how much] because it's nowhere near Scott's value," Tom Dorathy said. "Scott Noel is just a tremendous talent."

A former musician and sponsored skateboarder, Noel is a self-taught artist who began with graffiti. He has contributed several murals around Roanoke, garnering local critical acclaim.

"His work is a reflection of his inner vision of the world, and typical of great artists, his is quite different," said Mim Young, who hired Noel to do the “Whimcycle” mural. "From what I've seen of [the Greenway Self Storage] project, it is Toobz's finest work yet, and is worthy of any international mural project or competition."

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