Water Street Tampa boasts first augmented reality mural in Tampa

Immersive experiences are what the buzz is all about lately, with even museums feeling the pressure to create art environments for their visitors to better engage the works on display. Murals are already immersive in a way -- towering over passersby that become engulfed in the monuments of shape and color that adorn the walls. In a mix of arts and tech, you can now experience murals in a totally different way: through augmented reality.
Water Street Tampa is quickly making a name for commissioning and acquiring major works of art by local, national, and international artists to create an arts destination that helps put Tampa on the map. Collaborating with CASS Contemporary, their most recent project involves flying Dutch artist Leon Keer across the pond to make the East Cumberland Drive parking garage much more exciting.
“We’ve been following Leon Keer’s work for a decade. We knew we wanted to work with him down the road, but wanted the project to be epic. When we were walking through the neighborhood looking at sites for potential projects at Water Street Tampa, we saw this site had a lot of angles and different viewpoints. It was the perfect project to bring Leon in on,” says Jake Greatens, co-owner of CASS Contemporary with his wife Cassie Greatens.
Far from the Lego man mural he made in Tampa back in 2017, this new 100-ft mural “Equality Diversity” has roots in the natural world, depicting candy-colored gemstones stacked on top of each other to create a rainbow tower of treasure. To Keer, these multi-hued minerals represent diversity in Tampa’s community, and shows how we build each other up for success.
The augmented reality part comes into play when you download the “Leon Keer App”: 3D Mural with Augmented Reality. When you hold your phone up to the mural, the gemstones appear to float around, break into pieces, then come back together.
“Art can make a destination. In Tampa, we need something different and interactive and so far, this mural has become a landmark. Water Street Tampa is really thinking outside of the box with the art they are selecting to create an arts destination,” says Cassie Greatens. 
Recommendations to make the most of this augmented reality mural? Get outside and make sure to check out the mural from all angles with the Leon Keer app since you’ll see something different when you change your point-of-view.
Learn more about Leon Keer’s new muralCheck out Water Street Tampa on Facebook to see a video of Leon Keer in action.
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Read more articles by Caitlin Albritton.

Caitlin Albritton is a freelance writer based in Tampa with a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. When she's not looking at art throughout town, she can be found making it. You can keep up with her visual art on Instagram @caitlinalbritton or on her website. Visit her recent line of inlay “wearable paintings.”