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Woman's vision helps give mural direction

Published Sep. 4, 2005

(ran WEST, BEACH, editions)

Barbara Grilli grew up on the beaches, less than a mile from the site of the new Sunset Vista Trailhead Park. So when the city sent out a call to artists to design a tile mosaic for the park's sunset viewing platform, Grilli let memory inspire her.

"That area was my stomping ground as a kid, so it's nice to be able to give something back," she said.

A five-person committee, including a resident and a representative from the tile manufacturing industry, has chosen Grilli's work from about 25 submissions. The City Commission was expected to endorse the design Tuesday night.

"Everybody loved several designs," said Barbara Blush, who represented the City Commission on the committee. But the four main elements of Grilli's piece spoke to committee members.

"It fit the bill. It had a lot of touches of Treasure Island," said Dan Lenehan, who served as a community representative on the selection committee.

At four compass points in her design, Grilli has drawn a dolphin's tail, a pirate, a sailboat, and a blazing yellow and orange sun.

"I just thought of things that reminded me of Treasure Island and I figured people would be at that park to watch the sunset," Grilli said.

The selection committee members also were expected to ask the commission to incorporate part of another design into Grilli's plan. The committee liked the sense of motion in a motif of circling fish on a submission by Elizabeth Indianos of Tarpon Springs.

The selection committee was to recommend that the commission award Indianos with a $500 honorable mention to use her idea. Grilli will receive $2,500.

City manager Chuck Coward said the park is scheduled to open in February. Construction started Monday at the site, at the intersection of Gulf and West Gulf boulevards. The area will have two shade structures, water fountains and beach showers. A ramp will provide access for disabled beachgoers and parents with strollers.