Art on the Block

Art on the Block-Logo Courtesy Pep Rally, Inc.

Art on the Block Mural Day - Saturday, June 27th 

The City of Tampa has commissioned local artists to paint five intersections throughout the City, all on Saturday, June 27th, with the intent of unity and inclusiveness. To date, more than a dozen street murals have been painted in the City of Tampa.

Art on the Block is an initiative by Mayor Jane Castor that is envisioned to bring art and artists into the neighborhoods. The intent of this program is to make art accessible to all and to further incentivize curb appeal. Street murals also help to calm traffic by adding visual interest to an intersection or street. The City’s intersection mural program supports the Vision Zero mission, eliminating all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries, which is one key facet of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow. Intersection murals are effective tools for improving street safety, enhancing the livability of our streets, revitalizing public spaces, and bringing communities together.

The City of Tampa is partnering with several local organizations to support this endeavor:

1. Downtown Black Lives Matter, East Cass Street & North Jefferson Street – Lead Artist: Illsol x The New Roots Collective managed by Reece Fernando Moore and Melvin Halsey, Jr. / Co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Greenman-Pedersen, supported by volunteers from the Children’s Board and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization

Participating artists include: 

Melvin Halsey Jr.
Jitt Brodie
Meclina Priestley
Nneka Jones
Ron S. Dot
Reece Fernando Moore
Mellissa Koby
Jason Henson

2. Tampa Heights, North Franklin Street & West Henderson Avenue – Artist: Cam Parker / Co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Tampa LGBT Chamber
3. West Tampa, Habana Avenue & West Tampa Bay Boulevard – Artist: Cecilia Lueza / Sponsored by the City of Tampa, Volunteers provided by the Our Aim Foundation
4. Westshore, West Laurel Street & North Grady Avenue – Artist: Anthony Freese / Sponsored by the Westshore Alliance
5. East Tampa, East 21st Avenue & North 15th Street – Artist: James Vann / Sponsored by the East Tampa CRA

Painting will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 (weather dependent).

At the Black Lives Matter mural in Downtown, there will be an Opening Ceremony with a moment of silence, song, and prayer at 8 am, and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 pm on June 27. There will also be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Tampa Heights location at 2 pm on June 27.

The inaugural project for Art on the Block was a mural at Al Barnes Park, commissioned October 2019. This mural, painted by Tampa artists Tony and Junior Moore, is a tribute to Mr. Barnes, who was a beloved educator, mentor, coach and family man. 

The Art on the Block program works in partnership with the private sector and across multiple city departments including the Art Programs Division, Neighborhood Empowerment, the Departments of Parks & Recreation and Transportation and all Community Redevelopment Areas. Artwork produced through Art on the Block will include multiple art forms such as murals, mosaics, sculpture, placemaking improvements and other mixed media. Some artwork may be temporary, environmental in nature, or carry a message of social impact.

Mayor Jane Castor speaking with artist in front of mural

In bringing art to the neighborhoods, “by & with” the community and not in “service to”, this program looks to strengthen citizenry by opening communication, creating better neighbors, building future art patrons and fostering visual literacy, reducing prejudices through dialogue and opening minds and telling the stories of the neighborhood to keep their histories alive. The Initial goal is to complete two to three projects the first year; these will most likely city properties. A process is in development to work with private properties / businesses.