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Painting for building wrap Park Tower Building Wrap
Date: August 2002 - August 2003
Size: 60' x 40'
Artists: Carl Cowden & students from Tampa Preparatory School:
Chris Friedrich (7th grade)
Logan Jones (11th grade)
Michael Kane (9th grade)
Bobby Mohr (10th grade)
Michelle Navas (11th grade)
Elizabeth Romaner (10th grade)
Lisa Ruas (12th grade)
Location: Park Tower (Downtown Tampa)

Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc (PAR)
The Wilson Company

In August of 2002, the Outdoor Arts Foundation unveiled it's first mural project on the Park Tower Building. The piece, entitled "Land of Flowers" was sponsored by The Wilson Company, Cathy & Bob Smith of Psychological Assessment Resources and The Outdoor Arts Foundation.

Photo of Carl next to building wrapTampa muralist, Carl Cowden III collaborated with a group of students from Tampa Preparatory School to produce a 4' x 7' acrylic painting on canvas which was enlarged on a 40' x 60' vinyl mesh "building wrap"

"The mural began as a meeting where using an indigenous environmental theme was recommended. My intention was for the students to be involved at every stage of the process. I had no preconceived notions for a final design, so I was sure it would be spontaneous and fresh.

Reusable cameras were provided to acquire images as reference for the mural. The students and I walked to the site of the mural and began taking pictures of the local flora of Lykes Park, then the garden grove by the Tampa Museum of Art, Plant Park at the University of Tampa and Riverfront Park.

Photo of finished wrap on buildingAs we began choosing pictures and composing the mural, a Florida landscape developed, with a beach foreground and a sky background. This naturalistic scene needed more abstract elements to give the design more action. I use floating images in my own artwork, on top of scenes or abstract backgrounds. The idea is that like life, not all things fit neatly into designated places. Flowers and wildlife are a great contrast of color and shape to the greenery, tree trunks and sand.

We chose the Kapok flowers to float on top of the design because of their striking beauty and also to identify with the school's new trees, planted along Cass Street and North Boulevard. The oak and palm tree together are symbolic of Florida's ecological range. The palm seeds indicate the infinite possibilities of youth. Hibiscus, Mangrove, Spider Lily and Beach Morning Glory are classic Florida natives.

Tampa Prep Students painting with Carl CowdenThe Sulfur Butterfly, reflecting the yellow orange sky, is the classic symbol of change through metamorphosis, like the growth of students. The Lady Bug is protector of the foliage, devouring aphids and other insects harmful to plants. The Anole, also known as the American Chameleon, is symbolic of adapting to your environment. Finally, the Terrapin, a Gulf Coast native, is also the Tampa Prep mascot.

The final collage of images, entitled 'Land of Flowers' represents our diverse environment in all its beautiful confusion."

Carl Cowden III, August, 2002