By STEPHEN THOMPSON | The Tampa Tribune
Published: July 27, 2011
A giant mural courtesy of Guy Harvey, the artist and entrepreneur known for his depictions of marine wildlife, will soon appear on the side of a multi-story parking garage overlooking Clearwater Beach.
The garage is being built by Surf Style, a store next door which sells swim suits, T-shirts, beach balls, and other beach-related products – including many that are part of the various Guy Harvey lines.
The city passed an ordinance in 2005, requiring any development project which is $5 million or more to include a certain percentage of the cost for public art, according to Christopher Hubbard, cultural affairs specialist for the city of Clearwater.
The developers can do this one of two ways, Hubbard said. They can set aside 1 percent of the project cost and erect the art themselves, or they can give the city three-quarters of a percent of the cost, and the city will decide what public art project to put it toward, Hubbard said.
Surf Style chose to do it on its own. The amount allocated for the mural is $125,445.
According to Steve Stock, president of Guy Harvey Inc., the idea came up a couple of years ago at an expo. Surf Style has been selling quite of bit of Guy Harvey merchandise, and Guy Harvey Inc. has done a handful of murals – including one of the Fort Lauderdale skyline inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.
The mural is as much an advertisement for Guy Harvey products – Stock called the mural a billboard – as much as it is a work of art.
The mural will be vertical — 44 feet tall and 24 feet wide — and will be about 30 feet above the ground, said Hubbard. It was approved by the city’s Public Art and Design Board after the board concluded it met the three criteria required – that it’s accessible to the public between normal business hours; that the work is done by a professional artist; and that the proper amount of money has been spent on the project.
The Marriott Residence Inn in downtown Clearwater was also required to come up with some public art, which it did, in the form of some glass artwork and prints in their lobby, along with a fountain designed by a California artist.
For the mural, Harvey first put together an acrylic painting on canvas. That painting will essentially be magnified into a vinyl strip that is of the same type used to wrap an advertisement or a public service announcement around a bus.
Much like the Fort Lauderdale airport mural, the one on the Surf Style garage will depict the skyline as seen from the Gulf of Mexico. It will feature Pier 60, and, in the distance, the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa, and the Surf Style garage, with its gigantic mural.