CLAY COUNTY – The Art Guild of Orange Park is creating a public mural in the town and it will play beautifully on the town’s status as a bird and tree sanctuary. The mural is being …
CLAY COUNTY – The Art Guild of Orange Park is creating a public mural in the town and it will play beautifully on the town’s status as a bird and tree sanctuary. The mural is being painted onto a water tank on the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Smith Street, behind a shopping center. Guild member Phyllis Renninger says those with eagle eyes can likely spot the mural from U.S. Highway 17.
“There’s a lot of work going into this,” Renninger said. “We have about 30 to 35 of our guild members out there volunteering this week to paint and when all is said and done, there’s going to be at least 400 volunteer hours put into this.”
The Town of Orange Park applied for and received a grant for a 20-year visioning plan and it spent much of 2020 talking with residents and holding public meetings to create a 20-year vision. A renewed dedication to arts and culture was one of the many things residents said they wanted out of the town, so the town reached out to The Art Guild of Orange Park to ask them to make a mural in the town.
That mural is now two to three weeks out from being complete on one half of the tank, and on any given day you might find a handful of guild members out there painting. After the town reached out to the guild, members designed possible designs. Kathy Plante drew the winning design which is themed around Orange Park being a sanctuary for birds and trees.
It features multiple birds, flowers, leaves and of course, oranges. The design was formally selected by the town’s culture and recreation committee before the Town Council approved it and on Sept. 15, the guild began to graph the design onto the tank. They essentially made a giant square grid which helped transfer the design to the tank. That took about two days.
With that now complete, members are volunteering their time to paint the mural. Renninger expects it to be complete in two to three weeks. All told, Renninger said 30 to 35 of the guild’s 100 members will likely touch the mural’s artwork. Town staff members also are helping with it.
“Michael Gianakis is a staff member with public works and he’s out there running a genie lift for the guild,” town manager Sarah Campbell said. “He’s also an artist and he’s out there painting and putting in at least 60 hours between all of that.”
Renninger said once the mural is complete, the town will seal it to protect the mural itself. Campbell said all of the trees near the tank have been pruned to make the mural even more visible, so be sure to drive past it October for a full look at the mural.