Hotel McCoy is undergoing a unique transformation as local artist Noelle Mares turns one of its rooms into a Barbie-inspired wonderland. The 3D art, found throughout the room, reflects Mares’ passion for creativity. KGUN 9’s Bri Pacelli had the opportunity to speak with the artist about what makes this project so special.

Mares, the creative mind behind Once Upon a Frosting, initiated the project by reaching out to hotel management. “I reached out to them to see if I could do any kind of room,” she said. Inspired by her love for the Barbie movie, Mares pitched her idea with sketches.

However, Mares’ journey into art began long before the Barbie room project. Starting at a young age with baking, she transitioned from sculpting miniature cakes to focusing on the artistic aspect.

“Art has always been incorporated in everything that I do. That’s why I like baking; I was more focused on the art part of it in the beginning,” Mares shared.

Mares considers art timeless, comparing her cake creationsthat get consumed within hoursto the lasting impact of murals. “With my cakes, they get eaten within 24 hours. They get eaten immediately, and then with art, with murals and stuff, it lasts forever,” she expressed.

Drawing inspiration from her baking roots, Mares uses joint compound in a frosting bag to craft textured 3D art. “Commercial building materials are a lot like frosting,” she remarked.

For Mares, the creative process goes beyond mere artistic expression. “It’s like therapy for me. My brain never shuts off, and I’m a big over-thinker. So when I’m doing this and anything artsy, I can turn my brain off and just focus on that,” she explained.

Knowing that people will enjoy the Barbie room brings joy to Mares. “To know that people are going to come into this room and stay and take selfies in here, have a good time in here, and I did that, that’s a big deal. It’s really cool,” she added.

Looking ahead, Mares hopes to bring more 3D murals to the community, creating spaces for everyone to enjoy. As Hotel McCoy continues its transformation, Mares’ artistic touch adds a unique and vibrant dimension to the hotel’s themed art spaces.