If you’ve driven down Arlington Expressway, recently, you probably noticed the expansive mural that now sits on the far end of the old Town and Country shopping center.
The shopping center, renamed College Park, was purchased by JWB Real Estate Capital and is part of their inspiring culture of giving back, by investing in areas that others have forgotten.
“We used to invest in residential communities by improving one house at a time. As our company has grown we have been able to make more of an impact with larger, commercial properties,” said Katie Derringer, Executive Administrator to the President at JWB.
In all aspect, this company is impressive, but what stood out most to me was their vision to use local artists as a way to announce their new shopping center to the community and serve as a welcome to the entrance of Arlington. And a welcome it is! The Wall at College Park is impressive, spelling ARLINGTON, with each letter a masterpiece of its own.
When JWB decided on the idea of a mural they reached out to Nicole Holderbaum to spear-head the project. Nicole, also an advocate for the underserved in our community, was the perfect choice. “There’s nothing that excites me more than bringing people together, empowering other artists, and using art to uplift communities and inspire hope.” Holderbaum told me. She immediately assembled her team of professional artists and got started.
It was important to both Nicole and JWB to use local artists. “I wanted to include artists from all across the city that represented different communities,” said Holderbaum.
The participating artists ranged from seasoned mural artists, like Anthony Rooney, whose work can be seen at Surfer the Bar and Coop 303, to others, who are relatively new to this large scale format. Chris Clark is well-known for his work but had never done anything this scale. He has since gotten commissions from others seeing his section (the letter R) on the College Park Mural. The other incredible artists, besides Nicole, herself, are Elana Ohlander, Tatiana Kitchen, Martin Torres, Steve Teller and Ansley Randall.
The Cultural Council would like to congratulate all the artists for doing such an amazing job. We also want to recognize and thank JWB for their commitment to make an impact in Jacksonville, their foresight in understanding how art improves the quality of life for those experiencing it, and their support of the local artists in our community.
Nicole Holderbaum is currently raffling a 48”x48” painting to raise funds for the Cultural Council’s artist relief fund. Ticket sales end at 11:59 on Sunday, May 3rd and can be purchased at:
Learn more about the artist relief fund at: https://www.culturalcouncil.org/artist-relief-fund.html