Muralist brings walls to life

Yakima man adds character to gaming lounge

Trevor Braden of Toppenish adds detail to a wall mural he created for Turtle Lounge owner Andy Cervantes last week. Braden advertised his skills on Craig’s List.

Zulema Morales
Trevor Braden of Toppenish adds detail to a wall mural he created for Turtle Lounge owner Andy Cervantes last week. Braden advertised his skills on Craig’s List.



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A gaming turtle is only one of the murals Braden’s friends creates for the gaming retreat.

— The front and back doors were open Friday to air out the Turtle Lounge on South Sixth Street.

The need for fresh air was not because of a hazmat situation, but there were a lot of fumes in the air due to the amount of spray paint going on the walls.

The doors were open according to owner Andy Cervantes, to keep the air flowing as a team of wall muralists added some “much needed life” to the downtown game lounge’s interiors.

Characters from popular video games and cartoons were part of the work under taken by Toppenish artist Trevor Braden, a combination graffiti-muralist artist.

Cervantes enlisted Braden after seeing Braden’s advertisement on Craig’s List.

“He was offering his artistic skills for free,” Cervantes said.

Braden, 31, in turn, wasn’t sure anyone would take him up on his unusual offer.

“I have 12 other jobs after this one from my ad,” he said.

To complete the Turtle Lounge project, Braden enlisted four of his fellow artists to create the colorful wall art.

“I’m trying out the free approach to getting my art out into the community. However, I’m also hoping to develop a business from this venture,” Braden said.

Braden said the smaller game-related pieces he and his team created for Cervantes were right up the group’s artistic vein.

Among the characters added to the walls are popular characters from Rocco’s Modern World, animate characters, and Master Chief from Halo, among others.

Artist Dominic Phifer, 21, of Yakima said he loved working on the project.

Cervantes was very appreciative.

“I thought free murals was too good to be true, but Trevor’s team’s work is professional, and it brings the wall to life.”

“I’m very happy with the result, said Cervantes, whose shop has been open since August 2017.

“I’m seeing more activity on the weekends, but afternoons are starting to pick up,” he said.

“I really think the art, including a giant turtle created by the artist Mario, is a great fit for the lounge, Cervantes said.

Braden, hopes this exposure will lead to more requests for his talents.

“This is the kind of work I want to be doing.”

“I believe there is a market for my work.”



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