Vero Beach Art Club

Community Center Mural

Vero Beach Art Club members Judy Burgarella, Christine Thomas and Dawn Mill spent over 2,000 hours painting the panels depicting the ecosystem found on the Treasure Coast. Dedication photo above by Vero Beach Art Club member volunteer photographer Nick Binghieri.

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Painting the scenery

The Mural consists of six stretched canvas panels, 36' long by 8' high, each panel 8' x 6'.  it was created in and for the Community Center, in their "Florida Room," located at 2266 14th Avenue, Vero Beach, Florida USA, 772-978-4592.

 

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Ocean Life Abounds

The mural highlights the greater Vero Beach area including downtown, the river and its vast ecosystem, and the ocean. Each panel was designed and painted to reflect our beautiful community. The focus on nature is apparent with each individual panel.

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Completed Mural

Artists Dawn Mill Project Manager, Christine Thomas and Judy Burgarella pose in front of a completed panel.

This mural was conceptualized, designed and painted by VBAC Member Artists Dawn Mill (Project Manager), Christine Thomas and Judy Burgarella.

This is their workspace as they painted the individual panels.

This is their workspace as they painted the individual panels.

Adding the finishing touches to the panels as they are laid out in order.

Adding the finishing touches to the panels as they are laid out in order.

Requested of the Vero Beach Art Club by Recreation Director Rob Slezak, Planning, designing and purchasing of materials for this mural began in April 2011.  Painting commenced in June 2011, and continued through December 2012, with the majority of the project near completion in July 2012.

We artists strived to depict the attributes of the City of Vero Beach and its habitats, from historic Downtown to the beautiful beaches, and on into the rural westernmost sections of the City.  The entire mural was painted on stretched canvas with acrylic paints.  The six 8’ x 6’ panels capture six of Vero Beach’s main habitats:

Panel #1 – Downtown and eastward-looking

Panel #1 – Downtown and eastward-looking

Panel #2 – Pine flatwoods, scrub, sandhill, hammocks and cypress swamp

Panel #2 – Pine flatwoods, scrub, sandhill, hammocks and cypress swamp

Panel #3 – Cypress swamp, mangrove swamp and lagoon

Panel #3 – Cypress swamp, mangrove swamp and lagoon

Panel #4 – Indian River Lagoon

Panel #4 – Indian River Lagoon

Panel #5 – Ocean Drive, sand dunes and beach

Panel #5 – Ocean Drive, sand dunes and beach

Panel #6 – Beach, coastal strand, ocean reef

Panel #6 – Beach, coastal strand, ocean reef

Vero Beach is also about its people.  Within the boundaries of space limitations, the artists have represented just a small sampling of man of theimportant people of this era, the diversity of its citizenry, and the wonderful activities enjoyed by its residents and visitors.

This mural evolved into a labor of love by its creators, and as ideas flowed we brought them into the painting.  The three of us were unaware that we were embarking on a wonderful creative journey, filling our imaginations with an extraordinary array of the area’s exotic animals and flowers, riverbanks and meadows, beaches and buildings.  In our extensive research we discovered how truly diverse, interesting and beautiful this area is, and we happily exchanged ideas and images for each others’ canvases. 

Conceptually, we had rough ideas in what directions we were going with the design, originally coming up with ideas depicting Vero’s fundamental habitats.  However, through long hours with brush in hand, happily chatting about things related and unrelated to the mural, we developed some extraordinary ideas and incorporated them into our panels.  Through the long months we forged bonds with each other, celebrating the positive, supporting with the negative, but always cheering each other on to keep going, and constantly improving and refining what we had created.  And so, finally, we entrust this collaborative work of art over to the City of Vero Beach, to add to the edification of this fine City and its people.

Special appreciation goes out to Rob Slezak, and everyone in the Community Center and Recreation Department who went out of their way to help us, encouraging us also along the way.  And the Vero Beach Art Club, who sponsored and presented the mural to the City.  We three artists are honored to have been a part of it, and hope the mural serves to educate and provide enjoyment for the people of Vero Beach and its visitors for years to come.

Dawn Mill
Christine Thomas
Judy Burgarella

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The completed panel installed at the Community Center dedicated at the ceremony on January 12, 2013.

For more information and many more pictures, please visit Judy Burgarella's Blog