LARGO — Creative Pinellas has announced the completion of a new mural at the intersection of Belcher and Alderman roads in Palm Harbor. The location was chosen after nearby residents expressed interest to Pinellas County in the use of public art as a deterrent to graffiti, as the wall was frequently vandalized.
The mural was made possible through a partnership between Creative Pinellas, the county’s local arts agency, and the Pinellas County Public Works Transportation Division. The mural program is part of Creative Pinellas’ ongoing effort to make arts and arts experiences accessible to all residents and visitors of the county, as well as to showcase the work of artists who call Pinellas home.
The bright, cheerful mural adds a dose of cheer and comfort to the county’s right-of-way on a corner surrounded by a transformer, electrical tower, vacant field, and construction work. Because it is on the route that many children take to their neighborhood school, the county, Creative Pinellas and residents of the nearby community hoped that adding art to the environment could make this location feel more walkable, safer, and inviting for children and parents who passed by daily.
Creative Pinellas held community meetings to gauge interest in and solicit ideas for the mural. Themes of hope, unity, and future generations were suggested and incorporated into the final design. The mural was created by Pinellas resident and international multimedia artist Carlos Culbertson, who goes by the artist’s name Zulu Painter. Culbertson was chosen for his energetic and joyous style incorporating bold patterns, vibrant colors, and expressive portraits that celebrate life and exude positive energy. This latest mural design centers around the colorful, happy faces of two children surrounded by flowers and butterflies.
“We are so proud to be part of this program and to see an ordinary space transformed into a visually friendly environment for residents to enjoy,” said Barbara St. Clair, chief executive of Creative Pinellas. “I spent time at the mural site while the artist was in the final stage of completion. It was an amazing experience to see people’s faces light up when they saw the art for the first time. We had dads with kids in strollers, senior citizens with dogs, teenagers and moms all make it a point to come up to us and thank us and give kudos to the artist for what we were doing.”