Adamo Drive Mural Project To Revitalize Ybor City

After two years of fundraising efforts, the Tampa City Council recently approved funds for the Adamo Drive Mural Project.

A two-part project, the $30,000 Adamo Drive Mural Project will make an attempt to enhance the appeal of the Ybor City Historic District, transforming industrial, weather-beaten portions of Adamo Drive into a work of art. The project is designed to encourage Ybor residents to take an active role in improving and changing the identity of the neighborhood.

The first mural will cover the rear exterior of a 370-by-35-foot space on the Fabricated Products Building at 17th Street and Adamo Drive, while the second mural will focus on a city block directly across the street from IKEA on the north side of Adamo Drive between 21st and 22nd Streets.

“Art projects such as these not only help to illustrate a rich history and bring students, artists and residents together, but they can stimulate a renewal of energy in urban areas,” says Dave Scott, the project's organizer. “Recently, several major cities such as Omaha, Neb. and Chattanooga, Tenn. have embraced similar art projects as a smart investment to attract potential investors, visitors and residents. I hope this mural is the spark that helps ignite a greater spirit of renewal in Ybor and the downtown area.”

Calling on local muralists Mike Parker and Carl Cowden, the mural's image aims to depict the human experience of Ybor City and early Tampa -- the “Cigar City”-- reminding residents and tourists of Tampa's heritage while encouraging a rediscovery of the national historic landmark district of Ybor City.

Apart from Parker and Cowden, the project will include local creative talent provided by the Hoffman Porges Gallery. Parker even intends to incorporate a Hillsborough Community College art class into the project.

“We too often forget that Tampa has one of the greatest examples of people embracing the 'American Dream','' says Scott. “If we do this right, the mural can be an inspiration to all of us to make the most of our talent and potential -- an important perspective for the renaissance of Ybor and the growth of the Tampa Bay area.”

According to Scott, preparation of the project's exterior will begin in March 2012, while the actual painting of the image is slated for completion by the end of June 2012. Significant contributions to the project have been made by the City of Tampa, Robin Nigh and Melissa Lebaron of the City of Tampa Art Programs Division, Sherwin Williams, Vykin Corporation, the Columbia Restaurant, Kimmons Contracting Corporation and the Rotary Club of Ybor City.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Dave Scott, Adamo Drive Mural Project
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