Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Can restoration of Elizabeth Indianos' starburst in Tarpon Springs start mural renaissance?

TARPON SPRINGS

In the mid 1970s, a young graduate student of Greek American heritage came to Tarpon Springs to paint the town red — as well as a host of other vibrant colors.

As the city's artist-in-residence, and later its part-time cultural director, Elizabeth Indianos led efforts to create nearly a dozen wall paintings on the sides of public and private buildings in the community.

Some were carefully researched, large-scale depictions of the city's cultural heritage. Others were smaller graphics, such as the theatrical comedy and tragedy masks on the city's band shell in Craig Park.

Over the years, most of those images vanished as city crews and business owners painted over them.

But the recent restoration of a starburst mural on a recreation building overlooking Spring Bayou has buoyed Indianos' hopes for a renaissance of sorts.

"There was something valuable here and now it has disappeared," she said. "Wouldn't it be wonderful to bring back what we've lost?"

• • •

As America celebrated its bicentennial birthday in 1976, the National Endowment for the Arts doled out grants to artists to help develop the identity of unique communities.

Indianos was one of those grant recipients.

The first mural, painted in the late '70s on the side of a building at the corner of Athens and Dodecanese streets, paid homage to the city's Greek culture with images of traditional dancers, sponge divers and Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

Another large mural was painted on a building at the corner of Pinellas and Tarpon avenues. It defined the city's historical charm with flora, fauna and figures of Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, northern European settlers and African-Americans.

In Craig Park, paintings on the sides of city buildings featured children and adults engaged in recreational activities.

Of those, only a small kite and starburst mural remain.

The starburst, originally painted in 1978, features a progression of colors from warm to cool. The idea was to bring a surge of energy to Spring Bayou.

It's been restored twice — once by Indianos in 1998 and recently by city staffers under her direction.

During her time as Tarpon's artist-in-residence, Indianos also staged gallery openings and developed other cultural events. But the murals were what gave Tarpon Springs its bragging rights.

"We were known around here as the city with the most murals," she said. "In a flash, you could see the whole history of Tarpon Springs or a portrayal of Greek heritage and mythology. People would line up on the street corner to take pictures with them."

• • •

Indianos went on to create a series of award-winning large-scale public art projects throughout Florida, Texas and North Carolina.

She teaches art classes at St. Petersburg College's Tarpon Springs campus and gives lectures on art around the country.

Recently she met with Marleen Gravitz, chair of the city's public arts committee, to discuss starting a new mural movement.

Gravitz plans to take the request to her committee.

"Right now we have no funding for public art, but we do anticipate some in the future," Gravitz said. "I've seen photos of the murals and they were beautiful. It's the committee's decision, not mine, but it would be lovely if we could do something."

>>To learn more

On the Web

To see more of the works of Elizabeth Indianos, visit www.elizabethindianos.com.

Can restoration of Elizabeth Indianos' starburst in Tarpon Springs start mural renaissance? 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 7:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.