Art on the Block

Artist on scaffolding painting a mural showing a wooden clockArt on the Block-Logo Courtesy Pep Rally, Inc.

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, create places from ho-hum spaces and to further incentivize curb appeal.

The inaugural project for Art on the Block was a mural at Al Barnes Park. 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.

Call for Wordsmiths! The City of Tampa’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs seeks to commission a Wordsmith to lead citizens and visitors in the joy, challenges and rewards of creative expression through the written word. This project is part of Mayor Castor’s Art on the Block Program and is informed by the notion that a creative and diverse discourse is fundamental to our city’s strength. Apply today -- deadline to submit is December 20, 2019.