A new spray paint mural created by a local artist is adding to the local art offerings in the Midland area of Gainesville.
Chad Shore, a Gainesville native, designed the "Love Freedom" mural and painted it on the backside of McGarity's Business Products on Grove Street, in the Midtown Greenway area.
“This was another great way to infuse public art along the trail,” Gainesville Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said, as “Love Freedom” joins on the Midtown Greenway “The Lost Wall,” a recreation of a mid-1970s-era mural by Karen Hawk, originally painted on the former Odd Fellows Hall at Sycamore (now E.E. Butler Parkway) and Summit streets. “We appreciate Chad’s commitment to the project, our redevelopment efforts and our community.”
The mural features a modern child riding the back of an Osprey hawk, along with the visual elements of stained glass and a gold crown, to represent the "Queen City of the Mountains" moniker that Gainesville has boasted for decades.
The Osprey hawks symbolizes the spiritual power as a healer, while the child symbolizes freedom. The stained glass effect is used to represent light and a teaching tool, while multi-colored hearts use color theory to express different feelings.
“The mural was from an idea I had a long time ago involving church stained-glass windows and symbolic imagery,” said Shore.
The mural took two months to complete, longer than Shore was expecting. He began painting on August 11.
Gainesville Parks & Rec Director Kate Mattison said the Midland area of the Midtown Greenway will receive approximately $2 million in improvements through Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VIII. “Love Freedom,” she said, is the perfect sneak peek of the growth to come.
“The newest section of the greenway located at the Wye, the corner of Grove and Davis streets, will be redeveloped beginning early 2021,” Mattison said. “Gainesville Parks & Recreation is currently in the design development phase and project plans include a large paver plaza, playground, boardwalk, lighting, seating and additional vegetation. We are eager to add additional amenities for our citizens to this wonderful recreational greenway.”
The mural is part of a recent partnership with the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Parks and Recreation and the Vision 2030 Public Art Committee.
Learn more about Shore and his work on his website, or find some of his other work around town.