In and Out

Submitted by Michael Parker

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Client: City of Tampa

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Project Team

Artist

Michael Parker

Client

Melissa Davies

City of Tampa

Overview

Two 20’x80’ murals. Polyurethane, acrylic, color changing pigments on concrete. Rowlett Park Tampa, FL

Goals

It has been 50 years since the signing of The Fair Housing Act of 1968. Behind this act was a struggle for what is right. The Act provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin, or disability. The passing of this law gave hope for residential desegregation across the United States. These murals were created in celebration and recognition of the 50th anniversary of The Fair Housing Act. The East Facing image contains an image that faces the sunrise and alludes to a welcoming and embracing gesture. This underlying gesture is a collage of elements directly related to how one might experience housing, specifically stairs and doors. The stairs ascending from the center out finally reach on either side, “windows” in the wall that frame the sky. The stairs in the center climb and reach a set of double doors. Behind these images and along the contours are aerial views of housing developments and a repeating pattern of the boundary lines of Sulphur Springs. These areas in the image change color depending on the point of view, hinting at the intent of the Fair Housing Act.

Process

The West facing image includes similar symbolism using aerial views of Sulphur Springs and stairs in a symmetrical pattern. The utilization of more subdued colors and a complimentary gesture, evokes protection and shelter. Throughout the image is the repetition of the key and keyhole symbols. The central staircases encompassing a keyway are surrounded by two female faces facing opposite directions forming the space between the physical elements. The combination of all of the central elements form a symbolized keyhole shape. Together the symbols are meant to bring to mind a feeling of ease and comfort, while being illuminated by the sunset.

Together the relationship between the two images personifies basic masculine and feminine roles in a household. Being welcomed, embraced, and comforted makes for a higher quality of life. The opportunity to have a home free from discrimination can promote optimism and confidence. This can help to make our communities healthier. In a place like Sulphur Springs, where diversity is at the forefront of life, freedom from constraint is more important than ever.