Old fashion Christmas decorating in Fresno's Tower District

Window Art
December 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An old fashioned style of Christmas decorating is making a comeback. The lost art of window painting has helped to bring a holiday feel to Fresno's Tower District.

There are shop windows with traditional Christmas scenes, snowmen, candy canes, Santa, and Mrs. Claus, or is she one of Santa's helpers.

Joel Lopez said, "It's more of a pinup style instead of the traditional Santa Claus scene."

And at this traditional men's cigar shop, the girl on the window seems to have brought in some new customers.

Lopez added, "You know, it's been funny because mostly women have been coming in."

The pinup girls were the idea of the shop owner next door, and the artist was only too happy to oblige.

Gabe Flores explained, "She requested a pinup style Mrs. Santa that's what I came up with they liked it a lot."

Flores added, "A lot of places they do give me the freedom and they just want a Christmas feel. And a common request is don't cover up the whole window just make it Christmassy."

Addie Carr said, "I feel like people drive by and look in and make their day a little more cheerful, hopefully."

Gabe's a part time artist, and full time student. Painting Christmas windows is sort of a family tradition.

"I learned and I was helping out my dad as a teenager," said Flores. "He was doing this as supplemental work, he was an artist, and he had a day job and on the side he would do a lot of window painting so I started off helping him as a teen and just picked it up as I got older."

Gabe paints as a side job for extra money, but that's not the only reason.

"It's fun, I love it, I like to do it. Me, if I could paint all day I would do it. Just so happens at Christmas I get to more of an opportunity to paint."

And when the season is over, Gabe will even take it all off.

"It actually kind of cleans up easy," said Flores. "Razor blade and water and it kind of peels off."

But don't worry, Frosty, and Santa's helpers will hopefully be back next year.


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