Mural Art References

Ronda Schwetz, Director, Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison, WI — (608) 266-4943

Rick Cortez, Facilities Special Projects Manager, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL — (312) 742-2000

Cindy Kreider, Director, Erie Zoo, Erie, PA — (814) 864-4091

Also at Erie Zoo: John Rhea (Facilities), Scott Mitchell (President/CEO)

John Azua, Avian Curator, Denver Zoo, Denver, CO — (720) 337-1400

Col. Paul Herbert, ret’d, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny, Wheaton, IL — (630) 260-8185

Margaret Gazdacka, Facility Supervisor and Naturalist, Red Oak Nature Center, Batavia, IL — (630) 897-1808

For additional references, please contact us at



Testimonials from residential clients

I’ve admired Paul’s mural work at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for years. I thought I’d go out on a limb and try to find the artist behind the beautiful murals to see if he/she had any interested in doing a commission piece for my 3 year old daughter’s bedroom in our new home. To my delight, Paul was interested. In August of 2014 I hired Paul. The entire process that brought us to the beautiful end product was wonderful. Paul was a joy to work with. He included both my daughter and I in the design process which resulted in a night scene of fairies and forest creatures over and around a moonlit pool. He was incredibly responsive and worked shockingly quickly to complete the piece. I feel honored to now own a work of art by Paul Barker. Our family will treasure the painting through the years and, hopefully, pass it down to the next generation. We could hardly be more delighted by his cooperative services or with the finished product and the magic spell it casts over the viewer. Thank you Paul!!
~ Kim O

So Paul Barker is the best!! He painted a beautiful futuristic mural and it is housed in Haven Middle School’s art wing. He stayed the whole day and met class after class, explaining his process and answering questions from the students. I LOVE Paul. What a wonderful community-minded man and artist. Can’t say enough about this artist’s talent and heart!!!!
~ Denise T.

At the beginning of his career as a muralist, we had Paul Barker paint an outer space/universe mural on the walls of one of our boys’ bedrooms and a back drop for a model railroad in our other boy’s room. The train mural was about a foot tall and ran all the way around the room just below the ceiling and above a shelf with the train running along it. The scenery crossed continents and took the train route all the way around the world, arriving back at ‘our house’! The outer space/universe mural is fantastic! We gave him some ideas of what we were looking for and we were amazed at how realistic the end product looks. He even added the constellations to the ceiling in glow-in-the-dark paint. There is no way it could have been improved upon. Once we realized Paul’s range of talent we asked him to create a silhouette of Santa Claus, his sleigh and team of reindeer to decorate the roof ridge of our home in suburban Chicago. The result was so well done that our house became a local celebrity during the holiday season, won a few awards and got quite a bit of local press. After 21 years it had weathered noticeably. Rather than incur the disappointment of our neighbors we contacted Paul again and he agreed to create an upgraded “Santa 2.0.” He used the best available materials, laser cut silhouettes and multiple coats of paint so we hope it will outlast the original. But best of all is that his price was reasonable, he finished on schedule and he was cooperative and a delight to deal with. The finished product is spectacular, especially when lit up with flood lamps at night. He welcomed our input during the design phase and went above our expectations, supplying red nylon straps with grommets and brass hooks to create the reindeer harness and this time, he added Rudolf. The only way I can think of to improve on the experience would be for him to have done it for free! I cannot recommend his services highly enough. Wish we had more projects for him to create for us!
~ Fran And John B.

Paul Barker created a tropical island panorama on the walls and ceiling of my finished attic in my home in Chicago. I use it primarily for yoga meditation. He first did sketches and encouraged me to contribute in designing the look of my space. He cleverly disguised the sloped walls and corners as elements of a trellis supporting a flowering vine. He also turned a closet door and walls into a small rustic stone building. I’m delighted with the results. The sense of depth, looking out to the horizon, is amazing. He’s very cooperative, thorough and easy to work with and his skill is truly wonderful. I could hardly be more satisfied and I can’t think of a way it could have turned out better.
~ Meredith G.