The City of Titusville, Florida / Community Development / Economic Development / NewsArtist brings mural project to Titusville...Q&A: Artist brings mural project to Titusville
Maria Sonnenberg, For FLORIDA TODAY 7:22 p.m. EDT June 14, 2016
Luann Malark is busy making Titusville prettier, one mural at a time.
Chairwoman and founder of the North Brevard Mural Society, Malark nurtured a bright idea that has blossom into a riot of color on the city’s downtown walls.
Through what are basically huge and unique works of art, the North Brevard Mural Society connects the community and its visitors with the area’s unique heritage.
“The Society is dedicated to providing “walls that talk” and tell stories of North Brevard,” said Malark. Malark’s family moved from South Florida to Titusville in 1992 after falling in love with the area. “We could have relocated anywhere in Central Florida, but chose Titusville due to the friendly, small-town atmosphere,” said Malark. “I grew up in a small
Midwest town similar to Titusville.” As the mother of two sons born with special needs, Malark has a lot on her plate, but when the former real estate agent retired, she wanted to channel any newly found extra time into helping her beloved Titusville.
“Every month I go to City Hall to pay our utility bill and I look up and see ‘What a man does for himself dies with him. What a man does for his community
lives forever,’ ” said Malark. “I wanted to give back to the community that I love.”
Question: How did you connect with the mural idea?
Answer: In 2012, I visited Lake Placid to enjoy the 40-plus murals on the exterior walls throughout town. I learned there were other cities in Florida that
also exhibit murals as public art. I saw the positive impact and lasting effects the murals provided. Harriet Porter, who spearheaded the Lake Placid murals, was happy to be a mentor to our mural program efforts. She and her husband, Bob, transformed their rural city to a destination attraction and have assisted over 150 cities to bring the
murals to their areas. Knowing the murals were a perfect fit for Titusville, I sought other interested people who shared my passion. We modeled our program after the many
successful mural cities, not only in the state of Florida, but throughout the United States.
In mid-August of 2015, we received corporate and tax-exempt status and moved forward with this extraordinary project.
Q: How many murals are done?
A: “Space and Time Capsule” is at 5 Main St. and “Paddling our Wildlife Paradise” at 410 S. Hopkins Ave. The organization is in the planning stages for
other masterpieces to be completed in the upcoming months.
A third, on the north wall of the North Brevard Historical Museum, got started May 26. The mural will look back to the early days when fishing,
steamboats, citrus and railroads were major Titusville industries.
Col. Titus and Mary Hopkins are depicted with their hotel, as well as a bustling 1930s downtown Titusville. The old Spanish-styled Titusville High School
built in 1927 is also highlighted. An early space launch completes the nearly 90-foot long mural by artist Keith Goodson. Three others are in process.
One will be a first responders’ tribute at the City of Titusville Fire and Emergency Headquarters. It will incorporate a three-foot girder beam from the North
Tower Garage at Ground Zero. It was presented to the city last September.
The artifact will rest on a pedestal at the base of the mural as part of a permanent memorial in front of the Fire Headquarters Building at 550 South
Washington Avenue. The mural and monument will provide a place to honor the sacrifices first responders make, and have made, in the line of duty.
Keith Goodson has been selected as featured artist.
This mural is the perfect way to express our appreciation and boost the spirits of those who keep us safe every day.
Q: How many more murals will be installed?
A: The society’s murals are theme-based. That being said, our murals can cover so many themes that the possibilities are endless.
Q: What are the guidelines?
A: Our murals are part of a collection of public art, so the Mural Society has specific guidelines to produce long-lasting murals, including qualifying our
artists, using quality paints and a maintenance program in place for our murals. Murals produced by the Society adhere to City of Titusville enforcement.
Q: How are these projects funded?
A: The Mural Society relies upon donations from individuals, corporations and organizations.
Q: What is next for you?
A: My dream was always to not only see Titusville be a mural city, but to see our city included on a Florida Mural Trail. Mural cities in Florida are joining
forces to organize, network and promote our cities statewide
As visitors travel the trail they will experience the expression of each area’s rich history, culture, recreation and nature aspects depicted in our mural art.
Q: How do murals help cities?
A: Murals build a sense of community. It’s art for the people. Our murals educate, entertain and inspire.
To keep up with the North Brevard murals, visit nbbd.com/npr/murals or visit the North Brevard Mural Society’s Facebook page.
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