Client: Orang County Public Schools
Location: Orlando, FL, United States
Completion date: 1996
Artwork budget: $5,000
Lawton Chiles Elementary
Renaissance Fine Art Restoration
The school was seeking a mural to showcase their community identity, which they explained as, “Old Florida”, before the days of Theme parks and land development. The 2 walls ascended a 2 story open staircase measuring 11×30' each, extending from the second floor ceiling to the second floor landing.
The mural was to give the relatively new community an historical foundation in an area with no central town or community space. It was just a string of developments and strip malls.The school was named for "Walking" Lawton Chiles, a native Floridian who ran for Florida Senate in 1970 by walking the entire state to meet its citizens. Their mascot was the sneaker.
The principal had met with other muralists without success. I was recommended by a client. The collaboration was limited to the principal, who felt very strongly about the schools identity and purpose. Blue Springs, where manatees thrive is my favorite place to bring children to get a taste of "Old Florida." Shoe styles, be they cowboy boots or ballerina slippers, emphasize the children's personalities and creative interests. The manatees munch on water cabbages as the children dangle their feet in the springs.
The children in the painting were students in the summer camp program who attended the school, and my 4 children.