Communication Builds Our Community

Community Street Mural Project to be Completed Over Feb. 19-21 Weekend

First Installment of Public Art in City's Northwest Business District

Editor's Note: Due to expected rain, the opening ceremony has been moved to 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.

Artist E.J. Nieves of Ocala will be painting a street mural over the Feb. 19-21 weekend in the city's northwest business district and the community is invited to participate.

An opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19 for the mural at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and C Street. A food truck will be on hand serving breakfast. In addition to Nieves, scheduled speakers include Mayor Eugene Fultz, City Manager James Slaton and community leader Sara Jones. The ceremony speakers, along with community leader Narvell Peterson, will don aprons and help make the first paint strokes on the mural.

A closing ceremony and dedication is planned for 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. Throughout the weekend people are invited to take photos, hang out and post livestream videos from their cell phones.

To ensure safety for a potentially large crowd, facemasks and social distancing are required.

The mural is a $10,000 project of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. According to the CRA agenda item, the mural represents unity, growth and history of the northwest section all in one.

"The design's main image is a lion to signify strength and community," wrote city Development Services Director Mark Bennett and CRA Coordinator Darrell Starling in the agenda item. "The colors of the lion are earth tones to signify the rich history of Lincoln Avenue. Surrounding the lion are the names of previous business owners who helped establish Lincoln Avenue. The names will be painted in bright-vibrant colors to signify the future of Lincoln Avenue and the NW Community."

The mural is part of the city's Black History Month celebration and is the first installment of public art, called for over the next three years in the city's Lake Wales Connected redevelopment plan.

 

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