The Community Mural Project launched the first annual BIG DRAW-Ruskin in the center of historic Ruskin. Artist Michael Parker was selected by the SouthShore Arts Council to lead a community group through a process of designing and painting the mural.
The Artist, with assistant Dave Bush of Community Stepping Stones of Tampa, recruited a community group of local teens and adults, who spent 6 weeks in workshops and design sessions planning the mural. The intergenerational group engaged in an intense collaboration of research, photography, and discussion of possible ideas. Workshop sessions focused on drawing, painting, and digital processes as well as an introduction to skills and formal principles involved in both designing and painting a large-scale work.
The final design concept was based on John Ruskin’s social ideal that human happiness requires the mix of the head, heart and hand. The mural imagery includes references to the historic Ruskin, the agricultural and environmentally sensitive setting across the bay from urban centers, development and movement to future possibility. The design was completed in early October and painted over a four-week period.
The project was funded by a generous grant from the John Crawford Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center, Florida. Special thanks to Maynard Clark for the donation of the mural site.