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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ocala’s public art scene in constant state of growth

The city of Ocala and its businesses have made a consistent effort to beautify the community through public art for all to enjoy.

A new awning painted with a mural, one of the most recent installments at the Brick City Center for the Arts, is one of multiple upgrades the building has made to its facade. That includes two murals in its outdoor patio, as well as a large mural covering the building on its westernmost wall. 

New awning mural at Brick City Center for the Arts
A new awning covered in a mural was installed at the Brick City Center for the Arts

Multiple murals are scattered on the outside and insides of buildings all throughout downtown Ocala. 

In June, the Ocala Bicycle Mural was completed by Orlando-based artist SKIP. It replaced the previous mural painted by Hense that occupied the wall for the five years prior. The mural is displayed on the north-facing facade of the Seminole Feed building at 335 North Watula Avenue. 

Ocala Bicycle Mural on Seminole Feed
Ocala Bicycle Mural on Seminole Feed

In May, the city announced the addition of four mural panels at Scott Springs Park, which is located at 2825 SW 24th Avenue. The double-sided panels feature two separate mural exhibits that highlight Marion County’s black culture.

Last year, local artist Drake Arnold painted a pair of murals in downtown Ocala, including “Electromagnetism” on the Ocala Citizen Service Center, which is located at 201 SE 3rd Street. 

A portion of Drake Arnold’s new downtown mural in Ocala pays tribute to Michael Faraday, a pioneer of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

The city is currently accepting public art piece submissions at both Tuscawilla Park and its Art Park extension.

Not to be forgotten, the Horse Fever program that has spanned multiple decades has peppered the city with a collection of differently-themed horse sculptures.

A new baseball-themed horse will be installed at the Ocala Rotary Sportsplex earlier this month.

Slugger at Rotary Sportsplex
Slugger at Rotary Sportsplex

Earlier this year, three horses were auctioned off for charity to be displayed at various locations across the community. 

Horse Fever The Giving Collection
Horse Fever The Giving Collection

Do you have your own favorite pieces of public art or murals around the community? Are there places you’d like to see the City of Ocala or Marion County install new public art works? Share your thoughts in a comment or a letter to the editor.