The Beauty of Outdoor Art

As I have been driving around town I have noticed quite a number of murals adorning the outside of some Tampa buildings. This is of particular interest to me. Perhaps it is because I have a bit of background in art. Not so much from formal training but more from the fact that my mother was an artist. I suppose she was a hobby artist since I am unaware if she sold any of her oil or acrylic paintings.

As children we had odd projects like painting our own dining chair in our favorite color and painting designs on the dining table that was actually a very large door. Each of us had a section that was all ours to paint whatever we wanted. The finished table was protected with a healthy coat of varnish. The table was quite the conversation piece when we had guests.

This week’s  post is a rave for public art. Below are a few examples that I see on a regular basis. Comment on your favorite or add more details if you have them.

This image is probably the most popular for tourists. While doing just a bit of research for this blog post I found out that this mural was originally commissioned in 2003 but had to be repainted in 2012 due to wear and tear. This one is a favorite of mine because of the vibrant colors.


In the same general downtown area we have this colorful beautiful mural. Although I am unsure what is depicted here. It is filled with whimsy and bright colors.  I may have to stop by Biki’s Frame & Body Shop (the building it is painted on) to find out the back story on this intriguing art piece.


Other downtown wonders include musical notes overflowing from this historic downtown office building (It does not appear to be a historical landmark though). As you can see the artist used analogous and complementary colors in the design. This mural is painted on the third story of this building and it so happens to be up for lease. Hopefully, the mural will get refreshed instead of painted over once someone leases the space.


This artwork is on the side of the Poe Parking Garage downtown. This mural is actually part of a series of murals painted on a few different walls of the garage and the John F. Germany Library.


Certainly this work is more casual in nature. It looks more like a tag than a commissioned work. But who knows for sure. I believe this type of lettering is very artistic and is also a form of artistic expression.


This mural is on the side of a building on North Franklin and this area is being dubbed “Yellow Brick Row.” It is the home of a cluster of independent shops and restaurants.


I was running around getting images and neglected to include an image with the store front of this one. However,  I think it is really great how the artist made it look like wallpaper had been peeled away to expose the plain grey of the building.


This one is on the side of Cafe Hey. A little hole in the wall cafe with fair prices and WiFi. I had a salad that was loaded with all the goodies I requested and a serving of espresso that was pretty damn good.

“Today the massive wall tells the story of Tampa Heights, the city’s first official suburb.

In the center of the mural is a replica of the neighborhood at the turn of the century. Two hands circling the image represent the workers who lived in the humbler bungalows next to the Victorians of their bosses. The bold typography pays homage to Tampa Heights newspaperman William Benton Henderson.” –Helen Anne Travis, Times Correspondent.


This mural butted up to a car repair shop. Pabst commissioned an artist to paint murals in Tampa that featured the familiar beer brand. However, it looks like this mural was revised to include the name of the repair shop on the can instead of “Pabst Blue Ribbon.” I wonder if the artist changed it. There are a few murals around Tampa that have the Pabst theme. Now I know why.


Here is another Pabst themed artwork. But as you can see the PBR logo has been painted over. Apparently there was some hubbub on Artwork vs. Billboard by the City of Tampa when these were painted. Maybe the PBR murals were deemed billboards and violated city ordinance after all. Whatever the case I am glad that the art part still remains.


I was lucky enough to get a shot of this one before it was completed. I found it interesting to see how the large paintings are mapped out. This work took several days and sometimes I would catch of glimpse of the artist hard at work.


This one is on the outside of a smoke shop on Florida Ave. It is a new artwork by Cam Parker. I only know this because when I passed this store there was a blackboard sandwich sign proudly notifying all passers by “Cam Parker artwork.”


There you have it, some of the cool outdoor art around Tampa. Comment on your favorite or post one that you like the most.

I wanted to rave a bit. It has been too long since I have been able to give a Ried Rave. Take some time today to notice the things that you find lovely.


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