“The Past, Present and Future of Springfield” -mural theme
The community mural at 1654 Walnut Street in Springfield, just north of downtown Jacksonville, is finally complete! The duPont Middle students worked tirelessly over the course of five painting and creative trips to the mural. They worked in direct sunlight as a mild winter turned to a warm spring. They fought fatigue, heat and sometimes rain.
After five work trips there was still a small bit of work to be done, but because of FCAT more work trips could not be scheduled. As such, I (the art teacher) made a few trips back to the site to finish the mural according to the students instructions. Rain delays made the finishing process a much slower endeavor, but it is now finished!
This mural was made possible through a partnership between Cathedral Arts Project, Inc. and Jack Meeks & Assoc. (the building owner). Once the partnership was in place, a select few duPont Middle students were chosen to come up with the mural and then create it on the outside wall of the building at 1654 Walnut St. This is a corner building at the intersection of 7th and Walnut. The mural faces Walnut Street and once you are there it impossible to miss! Please visit and let us know what you think!
The following are pictures of the completed mural panels and the descriptions of each panel, the ideas behind each piece and any historical references we included. Please also see the Alfred I. duPont Middle page (link at the top of the blog page) for pictures of the painting process and progress throughout the weeks!
The idea for the “Past of Springfield” panel came from looking at pictures of Springfield during the 1920s when Main Street was lined with palm trees and trolley cars were the main mode of transportation. We also studied about the Great Fire of 1901 in downtown Jacksonville and how Hogan’s Creek (featured here running through the middle of the panel) was the barrier between downtown and Springfield. Residents of Springfield used the creek and its waters to beat back the flames so that Springfield would not burn. Their efforts worked and Springfield experienced a boom in growth after the fire as many of Jacksonville’s downtown residents were left homeless as a result of the fire and found help from the residents in Springfield. The colors in this panel are a bit muted to reflect the past and there is a small skyline of Jacksonville featured in the background.
The idea for the “Present of Springfield” panel was to have Hogan’s Creek continue through this panel, as Springfield would not have a present without it. The sky reflects a sunrise to suggest that Springfield is only at the beginning of its revitalization and restoration. A stylized skyline of Jacksonville’s downtown can be seen off in the distance while in the foreground there are three of Springfield’s restored homes/buildings. There are reflections of these buildings in the water, but the reflections are gray and black to symbolize the resporation of homes and buildings that had fallen in ill-repair duing years past. The students felt it important to honor this process as it is at the heart of Springfield’s present.
The “Future of Springfield” features brighter and more vibrant colors that we see in reality to reflect an exciting future. The students included a flying car (pink), two water limousine taxis (orange) and a floating school building (yellow). The Jacksonville skyline is expanded in this panel and Hogan’s Creek is again featured as important part of Springfield’s history and future.