A Slice of Chicago
By Jerome C. Pandell

Pleasanton artist creates that toddlin’ eatery
Mural of Windy City skyline lakefront adorns Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli

Pleasanton- Give mural artist Victoria Miraglio any bare wall, and she can transform it into a scene of a grizzly bear fishing for salmon in a raging river, the canals of Venice and even the Chicago skyline.

Miraglio, who has painted murals professionally for private homes and businesses since moving to Pleasanton in 1998, recently completed a mural of the Windy City for Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli in Pleasanton.

Although Miraglio took a few artistic liberties-such as placing the Pleasanton deli and Wrigley Field on Chicago’s lakefront-the single mother of two said she bought several books to perfect her portrayal of the city’s skyline.

“I’m familiar with New York and San Francisco’s skylines, but not Chicago’s,” said Miraglio, who worked in video, film and multimedia production for 30 years before she became a mural artist.

The key buildings- the Sears Tower and John Hancock Building – are important,” she said. “We played with them a little bit so it looked like they were looming over you.” The mural shows the Windy City at dusk, a view of the skyline from the middle of Lake Michigan, which is peppered with sailboats.

“It was a plain old wall, and now it’s really cute, “ Miraglio said of the restaurant.
Terry Terri, who owns the deli with her husband, said an interior designer referred Miraglio to her. Customers have noticed the placement of the deli on the e Chicago lakefront, Terri said.

“That was an awesome touch,” she said. It just comes right out at you and when I was looking at her portfolio what I noticed is that she’s able to capture the depth of everything.”

Miraglio also created a fake brick façade above the deli’s bar.

”It looks like the wall is peeling away,’ Terri said. “It went with our Chicago theme.”

Miraglio draws inspiration for her murals from her travels to Europe, the expansive vineyards of the Livermore Valley wineries and the realist painters of the Italian Renaissance.

“I just wanted to draw when I was little, “said Miraglio, who added that her father allowed her to draw at the kitchen table during dinner starting at age 3. She also received private art lessons starting at age 8.

Upon moving to Pleasanton from Livermore, where she lived since the 1970s, Miraglio said she decided to do what I should have been doing for 30 years”. Some local interior designers commissioned Miraglio, who started out doing murals in model homes.

“It just kept growing by word of mouth,” said Miraglio who has expertise in both oil and acrylic painting.

Interior designer Holly Ward, who owns Touched by Design in Pleasanton, is Miraglio’s next-door neighbor. Ward who specializes in residential interior design saw Miraglio painting in her garage.

“We struck up a working relationship,” Ward said. “She just goes to the board or the wall and envisions the end result and just starts painting. That’s such a gift”

Miraglio will make the resulting mural fit in with the home’s existing interior, how the customer lives and what motif the customer wants, Ward said.

In addition to her work at the deli, Miraglio completed and 8 by 15 foot mural titled “Duck Pond” for the children’s section at the remodeled Fairfield branch of the Solano County Public Library. Miraglio also donated a mural depicting a canal in Venice, Italy that was auctioned at the Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s fourth annual Benefit Dinner and Auction in September.

Murals by Miraglio start at about $500. and increase in price depending on the size and complexity of the project she said.

“I give people more than what they pay for, being a perfectionist, Miraglio said.

Miraglio’s mural of the Chicago skyline can be found at Chicago’s Metropolitan Deli, located in the Albertson’s Shopping Center on the corner of Hopyard and West Las Positas roads in Pleasanton.

For more on Miraglio’s work, visit her web site at www.muralartist.org or call (925)461-5045.