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Painting the town during Tampa’s Art on the Block Mural Day

Photographs by Chip Weiner, special to the Times
Artist Cam Parker celebrates in the middle of his work, a rainbow-colored, raised fist, in Tampa Heights.
Artist Cam Parker celebrates in the middle of his work, a rainbow-colored, raised fist, in Tampa Heights. [ CHIP WEINER | Special to the Times ]
Published Jul. 21, 2020

The City of Tampa commissioned local artists to paint five intersections throughout the city on Saturday, June 27th, with their Art on the Block Mural Day. The event was an initiative by Mayor Jane Castor that aimed to bring art and artists into neighborhoods and create “unity and inclusiveness.”

Freelance photographer, Chip Weiner, attended the event to document the day’s work. Weiner was drawn to the event’s theme and wanted to capture the artists’ vision come to reality. “It was a powerful day. The community came together,” Weiner said, in light of recent demonstrations denouncing police brutality and racism. “The attitudes of everyone participating was a refreshing change to the turmoil happening otherwise on local streets.”

Different organizations sponsored the work and anyone could help by showing up. Volunteers were asked to wear a mask and keep social distance.

Here are a few of the murals Weiner documented. Visit the City of Tampa’s website for a full list of mural locations.

East Tampa, East 21st Avenue and North 15th Street, by James Vann

The patchwork design was sponsored by the East Tampa CRA.

This East Tampa mural was inspired by colors and patterns from a kente cloth reminiscent of African heritage.
This East Tampa mural was inspired by colors and patterns from a kente cloth reminiscent of African heritage.
Local artist James Vann has designed several other murals in Tampa.
Local artist James Vann has designed several other murals in Tampa.
A diverse and enthusiastic group of volunteers, paints one section at a time following a line drawing and masking tape as a guide.
A diverse and enthusiastic group of volunteers, paints one section at a time following a line drawing and masking tape as a guide. [ CHIP WEINER | Times ]
A graphic shows James Vann's vision for the final result.
A graphic shows James Vann's vision for the final result.

Downtown, East Cass Street and North Jefferson Street, by various

This mural, themed for Black Lives Matter, was co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Greenman-Pedersen. Lead artist was Illsol x The New Roots Collective with collaboration from Melvin Halsey, Jr., Jitt Brodie, Meclina Priestley, Nneka Jones, Ron S. Dot, Reece Fernando Moore, Mellissa Koby and Jason Henson.

The Black Lives Matter mural is painted down to the smallest detail.
The Black Lives Matter mural is painted down to the smallest detail.
Melissa Koby, a digital artist and designer, touches up her section of the Black Lives Matter mural.
Melissa Koby, a digital artist and designer, touches up her section of the Black Lives Matter mural.
A volunteer holds the design for the Black Lives Matter-themed mural, a collaboration between several artists.
A volunteer holds the design for the Black Lives Matter-themed mural, a collaboration between several artists.
Different artists created different sections which fit together like a large jigsaw puzzle.
Different artists created different sections which fit together like a large jigsaw puzzle.

Tampa Heights, North Franklin Street and West Henderson Avenue, by Cam Parker

The rainbow fist was co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Tampa LGBT Chamber.

A mockup of Cam Parker's work is posted outside The Hall on Franklin where his mural was being created.
A mockup of Cam Parker's work is posted outside The Hall on Franklin where his mural was being created.
Paint supplies are piled on a tarp prior to the start of the day's work.
Paint supplies are piled on a tarp prior to the start of the day's work.
The final product with a raised fist of multicolored unity, a symbol from the LGBT community who sponsored the mural
The final product with a raised fist of multicolored unity, a symbol from the LGBT community who sponsored the mural

West Tampa, Habana Avenue and West Tampa Bay Boulevard, by Cecilia Lueza

The colorful patchwork of geometric shapes was sponsored by the City of Tampa.

Artist and designer, Cecilia Lueza's vision of unity was expressed in a patchwork of geometric shapes.
Artist and designer, Cecilia Lueza's vision of unity was expressed in a patchwork of geometric shapes.
Artist and designer, Cecelia Lueza, takes a break in the shade. Temperatures were hot and humid.
Artist and designer, Cecelia Lueza, takes a break in the shade. Temperatures were hot and humid.
All participants were asked to sign a release, wear masks and maintain social distancing while participating in the project.
All participants were asked to sign a release, wear masks and maintain social distancing while participating in the project.