Murray Hill building provides large canvas for local artist

Murray Hill building provides  large canvas for local artist
Tom Berdugo puts finishing touches on a mural in Murray Hill.

Somewhere there must exist a variation of Murphy’s Law about blank walls, such as “Every blank wall is a canvas waiting for paint.”

For Jacksonville tattoo artist and muralist Thomas Berdugo, a blank wall is a challenge. “I’m trying to bring life to these blank walls around the city,” said Berdugo, who has painted murals on the Hourglass Pub, the 1904 Music Hall, Nighthawks and, most recently, Magnolia’s Pub in Murray Hill. The 32-year-old Miami-born artist said he began painting murals when he was 15 years old.

Restaurant owner Andrea Dahlia requested that Berdugo include a magnolia and the color purple in his 20-foot-wide by eight-foot-tall mural. “It worked perfectly with my vision,” said Berdugo, who said he used approximately 15 cans of spray paint and a few buckets of paint on the 160-square-foot mural, which can be seen from Roosevelt Boulevard southbound.

The mural is one of several which have sprouted up in Murray Hill within the past six months, thanks to a project started by the Murray Hill Preservation Association last year. Other locations include walls on Tradewinds, Grater Goods, and the Murray Hill Theatre. Project coordinator Jason Tetlak indicated several other businesses have expressed interest in putting murals on their buildings, too.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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