JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of local artists unveiled a mural Saturday in Avondale.
Six artists, part of a nonprofit organization called Figment, spent the last month putting the mural together. They presented the mural in the 3000 block of Park Street.
In unveiling the mural Saturday night, they also held a free concert. Many of the musicians were the artists themselves.
Neighbors socially distanced, but did take a moment to get close to the artwork.
News4Jax spoke with one of the artists and organizers who said he wants people who pass by to feel uplifted and to see a sense of beauty in their community. He explained the meaning behind the mural.
“The poem is called Swan Dive. It’s all about courage, uncertainty, how we get through those times of uncertainty, perseverance and change,” Corey Kreisel said. “Right now, there’s so much uncertainty. Everything about the world is changing around us, and the only way to really get through it is to adapt and persevere, and this poem and accompanying art piece is all about taking that swan dive into the unknown and emerging on the other side.”
He talked about how this plays a role in reaching out into communities and having conversations to make change.
Zach Piester lives across the street and watched it all come together.
“So I get up early for work and I’ll have coffee on the porch at 4 in the morning, and they’re here from the night before. They work in shifts,” Piester said. “Rain or shine, they had tarps up and everything.”
It’s on Ron Rothberg’s fence because he wanted to help out the then-high schoolers.
“All of their plans went up in smoke when COVID hit, and instead of getting down on the quarantine, we said, ‘You know what? There’s something to do,‘” Rothberg said.
COVID-19 increased foot traffic in the area, and Rotherber said why not give people something hopeful to look at.
“I want them to feel on lifted. Feel joy and feel the strength, encourage to go on,” Kreisel said.
“There’s so much pain and suffering in the world that to see young kids doing something really productive and cool to bring the community together just kind of brings a little bit of hope back to humanity,” Piester said.
The group is also collecting donations for Jax Take Action.