Public Art

A New Mural Is Headed to Gulfstream Avenue in Downtown Sarasota

Local artist Truman Adams' mural, "Amphitrite," is the first in the Florida Legacy Art Mural series, spearheaded by the City of Sarasota's public art committee.

By Kim Doleatto May 28, 2024

Lift Station 16, a city-owned building located on a median on U.S. 41 between Ringling Boulevard and Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

Along with the numerous downtown projects taking root, the city's public art collection is expanding, too. Amphitrite, a mural featuring the Greek goddess of the sea, is the first in a series that will see five total murals go up in the City of Sarasota. 

Amphitrite is the first in the Florida Legacy Art Series, funded by the recently established Public Art Program within the City of Sarasota's Public Art Fund. For extra water connection cred, Amphitrite is also one of the 50 Nereids, the sea nymph children of the sea gods Nereus and Doris and the granddaughters of the titan Oceanus. One of Amphitrite's earliest iterations is painted on a pot dated between 500-490 B.C. and displayed at the Louvre in Paris, France.

Amphitrite was one of three options that earned unanimous approval from the city’s public art committee. In January, local artist Truman Adams showed the committee three different concepts. “They all picked this one as their favorite and they asked me what was mine and this one was my favorite too, which influenced their decision,” Adams says. The series is focused on legacy arts in our city, county and state. 

A rendering of the final, finished mural by Truman Adams.

The other two options included two children made of leaves and flowers and a white heron done in stained glass with an Art Nouveau look. 

“I’m big into mythology, and Greek mythology was a childhood favorite," says Adams. "It has a classical art style. Back in the daym artists were only allowed to paint religious or mythological themes until the Impressionists came along. I feel this is a nice mix of the classical and contemporary styles.” 

Part of the Florida Legacy Art Series asks the artists to find a location for their work too, either private or public. “Truman found this wall, which is on city property, and we were delighted because [painting a mural there] is easier than having a dialogue with a private owner," says Mary Davis Wallace, senior planner and public art manager for the City of Sarasota. "A lift station is great because their locations are usually well-embedded in the community."

Lift station 16, before the mural.

Image: Google Maps

“I love the location. I’ve had my eyes on this wall for years,” Adams says. You’ll find the unassuming, beige stucco structure on a grassy median between the back of the Church of the Redeemer and Marina Jack.

Adams has 90 days to complete the mural from when he started, roughly 10 days ago, but says he expects to wrap up the 9.5-foot-by 50-foot mural in three weeks, pending weather. Although he calls the endeavor a “dream come true,” he admits that the biggest challenge is beating the heat. "Sunrise is the only time I can really handle it, until about 10 to 11 a.m.," he says.

Adams has more than 25 years of experience creating commissioned art projects. A Ringling College of Art and Design grad, his work consists of murals, 3D and 2D street art, portraits, live painting, mosaics, fine art, public art and canvas paintings. His work has landed him in national and international street art festivals; in 2017, he was one of 25 international artists who competed for $650,000 in prize money at Dubai Canvas's 3D Street Art Competition. Closer to home, he’s a star staple at the annual Sarasota Chalk Festival, and his 3D street art is on display in numerous locations around the Gulf Coast. 

“This is a big one for my life goals," he says. "Making something like this in my hometown is amazing."

Artist Truman Adams at work on lift station 16.

Following a call to artists, the city has almost 300 people on its roster, and there are muralist meet-ups happening every three months at Lois and David Stulberg Gallery at Ringling College. “We want to engage artists beyond just having them submit proposals by email," Wallace says. "During the meetings, we discussed and invited artists on the roster to present proposals for consideration. The artist roster is open to regional artists all the time."

The initiative is funded by developers. Those building commercial and multifamily residential projects of $1 million or more must dedicate one-half of one percent of the cost—or $5,000 per $1 million—either toward the purchase of artwork placed at the site or toward the city’s overall public art fund. The fund currently has $300,000 in it, and the city is working toward turning that one-half percent dedication into 1 percent.

“We are expecting artists to come with their best work. We’re paying market value and creating a curated city collection," Wallace says. "We’re paying to support our community art and artists with these funds." Artists are paid $25 per square foot to $35 per square foot, which amounts to roughly $20,000 for Amphitrite. The murals will also be part of the city’s public art collection audio tour called Otocast.

“This is going to result in some very beautiful work we’ll all be proud of,” Wallace adds.

Email for more details about the public art program, or learn more by clicking here.

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