Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Murals of Punta Gorda...The Life and Times of George Brown

This is a new mural being painted on the historic Charlotte County Court House.  There are murals all over town, many of which have been repainted since Hurricane Charley destroyed them in 2004.  I'm not sure whether this is a brand new one, or a replacement, but it was fun to watch it come together.  The artist, Michael Vires, said the cooler, dry temps were perfect for painting.  There are actually two paintings, side by side, but depending on what time of day we walked by, there was a huge shadow in the other one.
Rough sketch, 1/16/14
Right side, 1/26/14
Left side, 1/26/14
It's pretty amazing how much detail these have considering they are painted on concrete.
Close up, left side, 1/26/14
We assume at this point the murals are complete since they are signed by the artist.
These murals depict the business and community accomplishments of George Brown, a little known African American.

According to the informational paper we picked up...
"Mr. Brown was best known for his very successful business known as Cleveland Marine Steam Ways.  His enterprise provided essential maintenance services to the barge traffic on Charlotte Harbor.  That commerce made possible much of the areas economic growth by providing affordable transport of raw materials/commodities to distant markets. 

...He wiesly hired workers based upon their skills and then...paid both Black and White equally."

The second panel portrays "his strong family values and the sharing of the fruits of his labors with the community.

"This site, on which the Historic Charlotte County Court House stands, is a fitting location for this mural as Mr. Brown sold the land to the newly formed county."  As a side note, the building was severely damaged during Hurricane Charley and there was discussion regarding demolishing it but luckily wise minds prevailed.

This artist has done another mural in town which I really like depicting a cattle drive.

Thanks for stopping by...

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