11073050_10152802171081441_7106405479926080991_oWOWT NBC Omaha.  Channel 6 News.

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You’ll notice some artwork going up on your way to the College World Series.

Justin Queal is creating a mural on the side of the historic J.F. Bloom building at 17th and Cuming.

One of his big subjects in the piece is an enormous baseball player.

Queal said the mural will tie together the CWS with the rest of that area. “I wanted a really iconic image that will be timeless. When Omaha is still doing this, 10 years, 20 years from now, people coming to town will be looking for this, it will be something part of the scene, part of the reality,” he said.

Queal says he’ll be working on the mural for about three more weeks. He says he has enjoyed having fans stop by to watch him work.

Read more here: Omaha World Herald Newspaper Article

This Mural was also covered on  Fox 42 News and ESPN.

"Home Run" CWS 2015 mural. Downtown Omaha, NE. The mural was painted LIVE during the College World Series 2015.
“Home Run” CWS 2015 mural. Downtown Omaha, NE. The mural was painted LIVE during the College World Series 2015.


Featured Artist Justin Queal Time Lapse Mural from Chris Kontakis on Vimeo.



GoDaddy Mural.  Tempe, AZ.  June 2016

Queal was awarded the first “Golden Brush Award” by GoDaddy.  “Thanks to local artist Justin Queal, @godaddy now has a huge beautiful mural in its Tempe building. A beautiful piece comprised of our small business customers. There was also an absurd amount of pizza and cake to celebrate. ________ @godaddylife @blakeirving #godaddylife  #godaddy  #techart  #muralJohn Ariete – GoDaddy



Justin Queal paints a wintery city-scape

Updated about a week ago (Dec.2013) · Taken at CityScape Phoenix: Downtown Phoenix Journal (DPJ)

You’ll find Justin Queal just south of the ice skating rink and due west of Squid Ink Sushi, transforming a temporary plywood enclosure into a winter-themed city skyline.On improving the scenery on Central Ave: “[When] the creative class is plugged in and involved, then it registers with everyone as cool. If [people] don’t see that, they feel more of a disconnect.Roosevelt Row is a grassroots sort of thing..and you have the big power center down here…and they don’t necessarily gel. The creatives should get involved down here, but you need people to bridge that gap and that’s what I’m trying to do.”


Artist Justin Queal – creates right in the middle of Cenral Ave

Updated about a week ago (Dec.2013) · Taken at CityScape Phoenix: Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors


You may have seen Justin’s work inside of Squid Ink Sushi (yes the awesome mural). Now you’ll be able to see his work right in the middle of Central Ave just north of Jefferson St. He is currently finishing up a mural on the wooden enclosure surrounding the large refrigeration units used to freeze the Ice Skating Rink at CityScape. This is right out in front of Downtown’s Squid Ink Sushi, hence the large blue squid on the south end of the mural. In speaking with Justin, he feels that public art accessible and liked by the various age demographics that make up downtown’s population can bring more of a community feel to any area including CityScape. I’d have to agree. Thank You Justin!

Artist Justin Queal

Painting – Sculpture – Design



Local Revibe Nobember 2013  Phoenix Addition


Artist Spotlight: Justin Queal

Art in Phoenix continues to bloom. No longer exclusively known for its dry heat and bleak landscapes, downtown Phoenix is sprouting an art scene and Justin Queal is the pioneer paving the way.

The Phoenix based sculptor and painter has created quite the name for himself. Most recently famous for his murals at Squid Ink Sushi, Queal masterfully entwines colors to create a dizzying dis- play of truly unique art. Through intricate textures and highlights, Queal brings a sense of drama into each piece he creates.

What started as a “leap of faith” in 1997 has evolved into a move- ment with a passionate following. While working on Mill Avenue years ago, Queal found a gig live painting at a jazz and blues club. After immediate success and positive feedback he quickly earned a noteworthy spot in the Phoenix art scene.

Doing live paintings is difficult skill to have. While many artists walk tentatively up to the easel with a singular idea, Queal took a unique approach.

“I would set up next to the band and start working,” Queal ex- plains. “You can feel the energy through live performances and you channel that energy into the work.”

justin queal article localrevibe magazineAfter trying his hand at live painting, Queal’s artistic sense erupt- ed. He is able to construct loud works of art by channeling the environment around him. Most significantly, he is able to take a simple piece and transform it into a work of genuine originality.

During a live painting “I get bored if I have a concept in mind al- ready,” Queal says. “If I go into the space and don’t have some- thing I pull it out of the feel of the moment. It is really exciting and it puts on a pressure that builds and builds until all of a sudden you start running free with it and people (watching) feel that too.”

It has been 16 years since the artist’s humble beginning. He re- cently earned the spotlight in “Phoenix New Times” and Arizona

Foothills Magazine” proving his art resonates with Valley residents. While media attention has been beneficial to his success, his big- gest accomplishment is his contribution to Phoenix’s emerging art scene.

“Art is a funny thing when you put value to it,” Queal says. “The key to succeeding though is creating value. We all crave value.”

For Queal, valuable art is the experience it brings to others. Con- veying his surroundings through his art is the difference between a mediocre and exquisite piece of work.

“You can make a magical home experience by creating some- thing that brings good energy into an environment. I try to artic- ulate the unseen energy,” Queal says.

His inspirations do not end there. Women are really what make Queal tick.

“One thing I always gravitate back to is the beauty of women,” he says passionately. “I like to pick women as a subject matter because beautiful women are one of the highest experiences we have. It gives me this high ceiling to bring beauty into the world and if you do it well, it will feel like a beautiful woman.”

Queal is a rare artist of his kind. His timeless pieces and his ability to tap into his senses set a distinct scene others would be unable to explore without his vision.


Local muralist earns award nominations, gains recognition for Squid Ink Sushi Bar murals


CAPTION GOES HERE XXX. (Ashley Gistinger/DD)

“If you want the community to look or feel different, then you have to create it. The art scene here tells this diverse, multicultural story of downtown Phoenix. It’s the narrative in color.”

These are the words of local artist Justin Queal, whose murals at Squid Ink Sushi Bar’s downtown location earned the restaurant a spot in the top 5 in the category of “Best Bars and Coffee Shops for Art in Phoenix” by “Arizona Foothills Magazine.”

The mural was also a finalist in the “Best Mural” category in “Phoenix New Times’” “Best of Phoenix.”

Queal said the media spotlight on his art has drawn more attention to the downtown art scene.

“Downtown is where you have the big and small business aspect and the high-end corporate role. I feel like by doing artwork that resonates with both, there is a potential that forms a bridge between the two — artwork that speaks to both communities,” he said.

Queal, 37, began his art career in 1997 on Mill Avenue in Tempe. He tried his hand at live painting at a jazz and blues club. From there he began live painting weekly, which he said gave him a rush and helped make his way in the art scene.

“Live painting is improvisation, I paint whatever inspires me in the moment,” Queal said. “When you’re more spontaneous in your process, more energy comes through your work.”

Queal also did the artwork at Squid Ink’s Peoria location. Schuyler Estes, owner of Squid Ink, said it was an easy decision to hire him to do the downtown Phoenix location’s mural.

“We wanted to bring kind of like an urban vibe to the downtown area because we wanted to make it comfortable for the businessman during the day, but also comfortable for an art-savvy hipster at night,” Estes said. “We thought Queal would be a good fit.”

Queal designed three murals for Squid Ink’s downtown location. One of the three depicted a girl with tentacle hair wearing headphones, surrounded by bright blue and red colors.

“I wanted it to feel like a beautiful woman, a very radiant piece,” Queal said. “I liked the idea of giving her tentacles for hair because it really plays into the name of the place.”

The goal of Queal’s artwork is to make the observer feel something, he said.

“You have to believe in your work. It’s an experience you’ve made real, and to a million different people it will mean a million different things,” he said.

Queal, who has been in the Valley’s art scene for 16 years, said he still has the same enthusiasm and passion for his artwork as he had when he first began creating it.

“I’ve always been drawn to art for the expression of it. It’s like I have to do it, like an urge to create,” Queal said. “There are always ideas bubbling; creativity is a flow of energy.”

Queal’s artwork is also displayed in Scottsdale, Los Angeles, New Orleans’s Royal Street galleries and Omaha, Neb.

His work is very diverse — he has created a 10-sculpture permanent installation at Hotel Deco XV in Omaha and has paintings at both the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Witherspoon Concert Hall at the Joslyn Art Museum, also in Omaha.

Queal’s art will also be shown on Nov. 2 in the Push PHX Gallery located near 12th and Roosevelt streets. This will be the fifth anniversary of the Push PHX Gallery, which will feature live bands, food trucks and live painting.

Event coordinator Matt Brown said Queal’s artwork caught his eye, which is why he invited Queal to showcase his work at the gallery.

“I saw his murals for Squid Ink and I really liked what he was doing,” Brown said. The fifth anniversary gallery will feature 25 artists.

“Public work helps shape the experience of the community. Thousands of people will see your work, setting the energy for the space,” Queal said. He said he will be submitting new pieces for this gallery that feature a street art/graffiti feel, which he said is prevalent downtown.

“The rich mix of cultures in Phoenix creates a vibrant visual scene. You can see the city’s story painted on walls and expressed in people’s style,” he said. “Artists tend to set the tone for culture; artists are the trendsetters for the city … This is an exciting period for artists here in downtown Phoenix because we are still in the process of trying to help shape the identity of the city.”

Contact the reporter at


A Bite, Brew, Plus Views: Best Bars and Coffee Shops for Art in Phoenix

Amanda Savage September 6, 2013 1
Arizona Foothills Magazine

Squid Ink Sushi


An exciting and unexpected new edition to the downtown art-gazing lineup is SquidInk Sushi, located near Chase Field and right across the street from CityScape. SquidInk started on the Northside, up at Happy Valley Road, but the demand and popularity quickly suggested that a downtown Phoenix location might be in the works. The new location, conveniently situated near lightrail, has a comfortable outdoor bar, misters and big-screen televisions. But masterfully crafted into the interior seating areas are plenty of wall space for paintings and other visuals. In Japanese culture, sushi in itself is an art—a culmination of expert raw fish, beds of sweet rice and delectable dry seaweed, finely arranged, rolled and sliced by well-trained craftsman. At SquidInk, there is a rounded sushi bar where patrons can sit, and observe the resident “artists” at work. Manager of Marketing Abby Queal says that SquidInk plans to cycle through plenty of local artists in the coming months. “Every month we feature a new artist,” Queal says. “This month’s show is a collaboration between Jesse Perry and Carlos Rivas.” The art on the walls right now is, appropriately images of aquatic life and Japanesethemed paintings. One of their main attractions is a collection of eye-catching mural work by Justin Queal, another local artist who is set to have an opening party at SquidInk in the coming months.


From Bauhaus to Your House

Opening of Hotel Deco XV and Zin Room blends luxury and comfort

Being fashionably late has rarely been so memorably chic.

Perhaps the most dramatic entrance of the evening Saturday night at the grand opening gala of the Hotel Deco XV was the arrival of cast members from the blockbuster Broadway musical Wicked, who dashed across the street—the fabled stage door of the Orpheum Theater is only paces away—to mingle with the elbow-to-elbow crowd in the Zin Room, the hotel’s Americana fusion restaurant.


That doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of additional drama all throughout the evening at the art deco jewel situated at the corner of 15th and Harney streets.


The Hotel Deco XV is the beautifully restored and impeccably appointed boutique hotel that has returned the former Redick Tower to its original 1930 glory.


The skyscraper-high backdrop looming over the lobby bar? That’s Arizona artist Justin Queal’s carved wood homage to the starburst patterns on the elevator doors of the building that is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Those sleek Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs paired with the chrome tubes that gird the Le Corbusier sofas sprinkled throughout the property? Just a few of the elegant “form follows function” touches added by phenom designer Brad Brooks of b2lab.


The echoes of Bauhaus elements found throughout the stylishly contemporary 89-room hotel yield to a “your house” vibe in the Zin Room. “Your house,” that is, if your home happens to feature a two-storey fireplace that still manages to seem somehow dwarfed by a towering image, the vintage night view of the Empire State Building that anchors the back wall of the space that specializes in Zinfandel.


“Ryan wanted a warmer, cabin-like feel for the Zin Room as something of a contrast to balance the look of the hotel,” Brooks explained.


“Ryan” is Ryan Gish, the chef and restaurateur behind the uber-popular Ryan’s Bistro in west Omaha.


“How do I think the evening is going?” Gish said in answering a question with a question. “The best part about tonight is that it doesn’t matter what I think. The only thing that matters is what Omaha thinks and I’m thrilled to have had so many people tell me (the Zin Room had been in “soft open” mode in the days preceding the event) that they feel like they’re dining in a restaurant reminiscent of something they’d find in New York or some other, much larger city.”


The exterior of the floodlit brick and terra cotta building offers mere hints of the delights that await inside Omaha’s newest landmark property, the multimillion dollar White Lotus Development effort whose rooms carry the names of treasured Art Deco buildings—Rockefeller, Chrysler, Empire—all edifices that epitomize American success and pride.


And that was the one-word answer given to a question posed to White Lotus principal Arun Agarwal, pictured above (center) with Gish (left) and Hotel Deco XV managing director Zachary Z. Zoul (right).


“Pride,” beamed Agarwal. “That’s what we feel tonight. Pride. This is a family businesses backed by a great team of associates and partners. It’s the sum of all those efforts that made this project so fantastic to work on.”


Savvy readers already know that metroMAGAZINE has a knack for finding the most interesting rooms in Omaha. Who knows where we’ll pop up next? Visit often here at to tag along.

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