Jaguar mural finds new home

The mural, a downtown fixture since 1995, has been donated to FreshMinistries

 

Members of FreshMinistries assist in the transport of 22 of the 23 panels from the Bostwick Building to their office at the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Center for Community Outreach.

 

Since 1995, a jaguar mural by artists Jim Draper and Anne Banas has graced the windows of the building at the corner of Ocean and Main Streets. Now, the mural has a new home: FreshMinistries’ J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Center for Community Outreach, located at 616 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. The nonprofit organization will install the mural on the exterior walls of its downtown building later this year.

Jacques Klempf, co-founder of Forking Amazing Restaurants, purchased the building at 101 E. Bay Street for $165,100 on July 21, 2014. His restaurant group plans to open the Cowford Chophouse there next summer. Since renovation efforts began in May of this year, a team from Elkins Constructors has carefully removed the mural one panel at a time. One panel will remain in place until exterior stabilization is complete. The other panels were returned to Jim Draper as a set; he facilitated the donation to FreshMinistries. The final panel will be donated to FreshMinistries after it is removed.

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“Since we first made plans to open the Cowford Chophouse in this iconic building, preserving the jaguar mural has been one of our top priorities,” said Klempf. “I am honored to return the mural to Jim Draper’s care, and commend him for making the gracious decision to keep the mural in the downtown neighborhood by donating it to FreshMinistries. This mural is a beloved part of the neighborhood’s identity, and I look forward to seeing it on display at its new home.”

Draper cited FreshMinistries’ ties to the Jaguars’ original owners, Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, as a reason why he selected the nonprofit to receive this special gift.

“Jim Draper is a tremendous artist and a great friend of our organization,” said the Reverend Dr. Robert V. Lee III, founder, chairman and CEO of FreshMinistries. “It will be wonderful to have this incredible artwork on permanent display at the Weaver Center, near the stadium complex, for the entire community to continue to enjoy. We look forward to working with Jim on a design plan to incorporate this artwork on the outside of our building in a way that makes the most of this iconic piece.”

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