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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Artist DAAS to begin ‘Common Grounds’ mural at MLK First Responder campus


The City of Ocala has announced the launch of a mural named “Common Grounds” at the new MLK First Responder Campus.

Internationally recognized Tallahassee-based artist DAAS will begin painting the surface of the basketball court, located on the 500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., on Thursday, Sept. 3.

“The project is being completed in collaboration with the development of the MLK First Responder Campus and will provide an enhancement to the community-centered project,” said Laura Walker, Cultural Arts and Sciences Division head. “This project in particular will be the first of its kind in Ocala and will incorporate the idea of community engagement and relationship building.”

The concept for “Common Grounds” draws on imagery, symbols and the color palate relating to first responders and the City of Ocala. The primary focal point of the artwork is an illustration of two hands engaged in a common greeting known as a “fist bump” and is surrounded by representations of the seals associated with first responders.

“I’m honored to have been asked to design and install a mural on the basketball court at the new MLK First Responders Campus,” said DAAS. “The goal of the artwork is to celebrate the City of Ocala and its first responders in a positive and engaging manner. My hope is that the mural will serve as a meeting place that brings people together from all walks of life to find common ground and celebrate diversity in the community.”

DAAS is an American contemporary artist, internationally recognized for his vibrant, colorful, engaging paintings and murals. Born in Jacksonville, DAAS relocated to Osaka, Japan in 2006, working as an artist for Universal Studios. The influence of Japanese culture was pivotal in the development of his own unique style, which pulls inspiration from origami, reflections of color from the glow of neon signs and a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Cultural Arts at 352-629-8447 or artinfo@ocalafl.org.