“Living Art Mural” to be Installed in Downtown Ocala

Painting murals both at home and abroad, Miami-based artist Ernesto Maranje is known for his ardent and consistent reminders of the connection that all living things share, often portraying the unity between plants and animals in his murals. Work on Maranje’s next project, which has been approved by the Ocala Municipal Art Commission (OMAC), will begin today in downtown Ocala.

The installation, commissioned by the City of Ocala’s Cultural Arts and Sciences Division, will be located on the west-facing wall of the Brick City Center for the Arts. It will be a one-of-a-kind work of art here in Marion County, and one of only a few like it in the world.

Born out of a collaboration between Maranje, artist and fabricator Mike Zeak, and horticulturist Suzanne Shuffitt, the mural will be a visionary installation that blends elements of street art and horticulture into the design.

Some of the features the Ocala community can expect to see included are native flora and fauna and a focal point that features a Florida black bear accompanied by two roseate spoonbills. The design will include custom-fabricated plant trellises that will house carefully curated plants. The plantings are intended to create a semi-three-dimensional look.

“This piece will add to our continually growing public art collection,” says Laura Walker, head of the Cultural Arts and Sciences Division, “adding another innovative, collaborative piece for our community to enjoy.”

The City of Ocala offers a variety of visual and performing art opportunities in city spaces. Detailed information about current programming and future projects can be found at www.ocalafl.org/culturalarts. Self-guided public art tours are available at Ocala.oncell.com.

For more information, contact the City of Ocala Cultural Arts Department at 352-629-8447 or artwalk@ocalafl.org; or visit www.ocalafl.org/artwalk.

Stay tuned to the Ocala Style Magazine Facebook page for frequent updates on the “Living Art Mural” project.

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