JAX provides a canvas of buildings with walls ripe for colorful creations depicting stories to tell.
Throughout the region, you’ll find works of art that reflect the cities/towns, cultures and people. For example, downtown Jacksonville is filled with character and imagination that’s beautifully displayed in its murals.
Photo credit: Ryan Ketterman
From abstract artistry in walking distance of the St. Johns River’s scenic views to the imaginative artwork on the walls of the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), color abounds in Jacksonville’s core.
Local murals have even achieved world-record status! In Brooklyn, a Jacksonville neighborhood steeped in arts and culture, you’ll find the world’s largest hand-painted 3D mural by interactive artist Jason Tetlak spanning 179 meters. The mural took a total of 50 hours to create and features rock and hip-hop artists, Beastie Boys, with the title of one of their most popular songs, in a nod to the JAX neighborhood.
Photo credit: PRI Productions
They say teamwork makes the dream work and a prime example is “The Wall at College Park.” The 6,500-square-foot mural that greets passing cars in Jacksonville’s Arlington neighborhood convened a group of eight local artists, each creating their own unique vignettes per letter. Working together, these talented artists birthed the scenic 36-foot masterpiece.
Photo credit: Stuff To Do in Jacksonville
An artistic collaboration between Brenda Kato and Mary Allegretti created the “Bloom Where You Are Planted” mural, one of dozens in Jacksonville’s Murray Hill. It was the 9th mural to be completed as part of the Murray Hill Preservation Association’s mural project. Even on a cloudy day – a rare sighting in JAX – the colors of the 25-foot-high sunflowers brighten up street corners.
Photo credit: The Coastal
Many of Jacksonville’s murals serve to represent history and display the ways in which our community has evolved. The real soul of our largest city is displayed in downtown Jacksonville’s “Unity” mural, completed by Australian artist Guido Van Helten in 2016 as part of ArtRepublic’s mural program. Covering two large silos, this piece of art stands 150 feet tall and features images of a young man and woman the artist met during his stay in the city who represent virtues of tolerance, diversity and respect.
Even the small towns of JAX have made their mark in the world of murals. Downtown Palatka is well known for its downtown “City of Murals” moniker featuring more than 20 artistically painted works of art. From wildflowers to historical depictions to military tributes, these murals paint the town with unique whimsy within blocks of one another.
Of course, America’s oldest city takes claim to some beautiful murals as well. Creatively crafted by local artists, you’ll find colorful murals in all corners of St. Augustine from historic downtown to the coastal community of nearby Vilano Beach.
(Top left) “The Love Mural” in St. Augustine was created with a vision of being shared by the local community. Boutique clothing store owners Tom and Karen Rochelle were approached by mural artist, Christie, a customer of the boutique, who wanted to complete a mural along the walls of their store. Together the three of them curated what came to be known as, “The Love Mural.” Already working in the fashion industry, the Rochelles had an eye for color and a knack for design, hence the result of a beautiful creation that has been well received by the community.
(Top right) “Wildflower” mural along State Road A1A in Vilano Beach features local flora. Artist, Steven Teller, painted this mural along the walls of his studio. The mural displays Mexican petunias, dune daisies and Gaillardia blanket flowers.
These murals merely scratch the surface of what’s to be found among JAX’s creative community. The works of art not only depict beautiful colors and creative brush strokes, they symbolize the history and culture of our region and the talent who make us who we are today.