Arts & Culture Collide on Local Streetscape

Arts & Culture Collide on Local Streetscape
For those who traverse the city’s traffic arteries through San Marco, beneath the overhead glass walkways of Baptist Health’s medical complex, there’s a vibrant new streetscape that’s garnering a lot of attention. The untitled mural, commissioned by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, has a backstory and it also had its official dedication Feb. 16 -- almost a month to the day after its official completion.

For four days, crews worked alongside renowned local artist, Ansley Randall, completing the 47-by-48-foot ground-based mural after several consecutive nights of exacting preparation and application of coatings for installation.

The art installation found at the corner of Nira Street and San Marco Boulevard is the first of many colorful murals to be commissioned by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville to enliven intersections citywide in partnership with City entities. As part of the Art in Public Places (APP) program, the murals have a multiplier effect by promoting art and placemaking and offering quality work opportunities for local artists, all while helping to keep asphalt from deteriorating. This unique piece of art has created a colorful commute of semi-permanent paints, shapes and abstract objects.

During the presentation to dedicate the mural, Diana Donovan, executive director of the Cultural Council, thanked officials for their collaboration, assistance and execution on the project.

“I wanted to thank the leadership for making this happen…I also want to thank our partners in the room. I know that we have DVI, Public Works representation and leadership, we have 1st Choice – our engineering and development firm that partnered with us on this, our APP (Art in Public Places) chair and APP representatives as well as our board of directors,” shared Donovan.

Artist Ansley Randall with Cultural Council Executive Director Diana Donovan
Artist Ansley Randall with Cultural Council Executive Director Diana Donovan

The project was initiated by District 5 City Council Member LeAnna Cumber, who was also present for the ceremonies. “This is very long in coming…I just remember my best friend in high school painting Times Square, rather than people looking up, they were looking down,” said Cumber of the ground-based art and its impact on the viewer. “If we can do it [Public Art], where we are also getting a transportation and safety dual-purpose, I think that’s just incredible.”

Alongside Cumber were officials from the city’s Public Works Department and subcontractors who helped facilitate and advise in crosswalk revitalization to complement asphalt crack repair and specialty pavement coating applications while art is installed.

Randall, who now calls Springfield home, has been instrumental in championing designs reflecting Jacksonville neighborhoods. “If anything, art is a cool thing — you either love it or you hate the piece — it’s getting you to think outside the box,” Randall said, while describing the uniqueness of public art and her creative process. She founded Jax Is Rad in 2017, a platform which highlights Jacksonville artists, musicians and businesses that contribute to the city’s cultural identity. While accomplished here locally, Randal has murals that also enliven other major international metropolitan cities such as Miami, New York and Bristol in the United Kingdom.

“We are delighted to engage a broad audience of all ages through Ansley’s vibrant artistry and are grateful for our partnership with the City of Jacksonville, which supported infusing public art into improvements that enhance the safety and walkability of the San Marco intersection,” shared Donovan.

The dedication took place at noon in Conference Room 3B at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, at 1301 Palm Avenue. Following the speaking engagement, tours were led to view the art from the glass walkways over San Marco Boulevard.  To learn more, visit the Cultural Council at

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