Mural at the Visitor’s Center - “Around the Corner”
Bringing the natural landscape of Ocala/Marion County's ecosystem to Downtown Ocala, this mural merges art, nature, and tourism.
The southwest corner of the Ocala/Marion County visitor’s center is home to a large mural aptly titled “Around the Corner.” The stunning mural wraps the southwest edge of the building and reflects Ocala/Marion County’s natural environment. Artist David Carmack Lewis is a nationally renowned muralist who led the project and he partnered with accomplished local artist Jordan Shapot.
Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau
109 W Silver Springs Blvd.
Ocala, FL 34475
The south elevation, facing the busy traffic of Silver Springs Blvd., shows a live oak on the far side of a classic horse farm rail fence. On the near side of the fence, an empty chair faces a grassy field and pine stands to the left. In the foreground, a gray fox, elusive but common in North Central Florida, looks out at the viewer as it makes its way through the tall grass.
On the west elevation, the pine trees give way to a lush riparian forest. A spring fed river winds its way beneath the twisting branches of a moss strewn tree. Under the dark canopy, an empty canoe glows from within, full of wonder and magic. Such places are figuratively “just around the corner” from downtown Ocala.
Each scene is in twilight, illuminated from the foreground, as if by the viewer’s gaze. The light activates the otherwise tranquil landscapes into a dramatic moment in time. Tree branches from each scene will extend beyond the borders of the frame allowing the deep blue of the skies in each image to visually merge with the blue of the building’s walls.
By focusing on landscape, the art deals less with the complex and fraught dramas of human history and more on natural history. The varied ecosystems depicted are a result of that history. A deep bed of limestone lies under all of Florida, formed by millennia beneath a shallow sea, which provides an endless maze of rivers and springs. When the seas subsided at the end of the last ice age the new land was slowly covered in a layer of sandy quartz-rich soil eroded from the ancient mountains of Appalachia.
About the Chair
Human figures do not appear in David Carmack Lewis’s work. He embraces diversity through their absence. Anyone viewing the work can relate to it and see themselves as part of the story being told. The empty chair, for example, is a frequently recurring motif in the artist’s work that helps to accomplish this. A simple wooden chair could be anyone’s.
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