The City of Ocala has announced the launch of a mural inside the courtyard at Brick City Center for the Arts.
Titled “Life Cycle,” nationally recognized artist and Ocala native Drake Arnold started painting the new mural on Tuesday at the facility, which is located at 23 S.W. Broadway St.
“Drake Arnold, a local artist and member of both Magnolia Art Exchange and Marion Cultural Alliance, is gifting this mural to the community,” said Laura Walker, Ocala’s Cultural Arts and Sciences Division head. “This piece will provide a dramatic backdrop to an arts space that all community members may enjoy.”
The concept for the mural was inspired by Arnold’s homestead that he began creating with his family last year. After developing an intense passion for gardening, a variety of animals including chickens, ducks, turkeys, a rabbit and a pig were added to the thriving farm, creating his own paradise.
While working with his easel on the back porch, Arnold was inspired by the beauty of watching the fruits of his labor grow. Seeing the transformation of the flowers pollinated by the insects, then experiencing the growing fruit and seeing the life cycle start all over again, the concept for the mural was born.
“It is easy to get lost in the modern world,” Arnold said. “For instance, by purchasing food from a grocery store, it turns our direct connection with our earth into a mental abstraction. It severs our connection to the source of life, to the ebb and flow of nature and her bio-rhythms.”
Arnold said the mural is intended to re-inspire that natural connection within the observer.
“For too long, man has attempted to establish dominion over nature, tragically assuming we are somehow separate from the rest of the Earth,” Arnold said. “May this artwork serve as a reminder that, far from separate, we are all one unified and continuous whole with our environment.”
Arnold typically works in both traditional and digital media. He uses acrylic and aerosol when painting on canvas or wall surfaces. His digital projects include creating animations and interactive design work for such applications as projection mapping, 3-dimensional printing and virtual reality. His work can be described as containing elements of psychedelia, fantasy, nature, surrealism and classical inspiration.