ORLANDO, FLORIDA - A group of Orlando artists are turning an empty downtown Orlando garage into a tourist - and local - attraction.
Earlier this year, The Thornton Park District put out a call to local artists to help bring some life to the usually empty Thornton Park Central garage on North Eola Drive next to Lake Eola.
“The theme of the art is ‘Our Story’ – the story of Thornton Park,” reads the post on the Thornton Park District’s Facebook page. “Up to 18 artists will be invited to participate in this endeavor.”
The project: over a dozen ‘selfie murals,’ painted on the walls of the bare, gray walls of the garage.
Fred Moline was one of the artists chosen. He tells News 96.5 WDBO’s Samantha Jordan that he painted his mural in just 3 days...with no sketch. He just put on his headphones and walked around Thornton Park for inspiration.
“I saw dogs, cats, people smiling. Everyone was just happy. That’s the vibe that I got,” says Moline.
Moline, a Haitian artist originally from Miami, has been painting since he was just 3-years-old. His artistic influences include Picasso and Keith Haring. He moved to Orlando a year ago and says he’s impressed with how much attention has been put on the arts in Central Florida recently.
“Orlando is really coming up and I like it. People love good scenery, they like good positive vibes. I mean we’ve got Disney World but other stuff that’s within the community makes it a lot better.”
Kristi Hamby is a popular artist whose work can be seen in several places in downtown Orlando, including the storm drains on Pine Street and Eola Drive. She’s also just been tapped to paint the B Nice Patio Bar coming to Lake Eola.
Hamby’s selfie mural plays on the dog-friendly aspect of Thornton Park, featuring her own pooch, Maggie.
“I just wanted it to be really fun and bright and colorful and just make people happy. My art is always just about making people happy.”
Not all of the murals are complete yet but the ones that are there right now are already making some super cool, Instagram-ready photos.
The garage is located at 120 N. Eola Drive.
Check out News 96.5 WDBO reporter Samantha Jordan’s interview with some of the artists: