Local muralist transforms popular tagging wall

Local muralist transforms popular tagging wall
Shaun Thurston

Shaun Thurston

A gigantic, exquisitely gnarled fig tree recently took root in Riverside, on College Street near King. The 150 foot-long mural is Jacksonville’s latest art project and graffiti deterrent.
“We wanted to do something cool to bring the Riverside and King districts together. Hiring Shaun Thurston to transform a big, gray wall, regularly tagged by graffiti, into an awesome mural is our way of using art do just that,” said John Stanford, manager of retro gastropub The Salty Fig.

Salty Fig after completion of the mural

Salty Fig after completion of the mural

“We’ve seen Shaun’s amazing murals around town, most recently the floating islands at Chamblin’s Uptown bookstore and coffeehouse in downtown Jacksonville (see www.ShaunThurston.com for more). We gave him full artistic license.”

Known for creating more mystical and edgy murals, rife with hidden messages, Thurston’s goal for this, his biggest canvas yet, was much more literal. Thurston explained “It’s about harmony, fitting into this neighborhood, integrating and embracing what’s here. Even though The Salty Fig supported the more impactful but controversial image I originally sketched out, I decided to change it. I felt it needed to be more about sustainability and balance. I wanted creating something simply beautiful.

“I grew up here, and remember the images in my grandfather’s home, of deer, and game birds. The mural’s pheasant is more consistent with the locally farmed game The Salty Fig provisions,” he said.

By Dana Greyson
Resident Community News

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