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Kids are the stars of mural's flag

Actually, they are the stripes. An artist asked 30 Tampa Prep students to make self-portraits to show her hope for peace in their future.

ELISABETH DYER
Published July 4, 2003

In honor of the Fourth of July, a downtown office building has a new mural with a red, white and blue heart-shaped flag.

A crew from J.O. DeLotto & Sons Inc. installed the mural on Tampa Street's Park Tower early last Saturday. By noon, he replaced the Land of Flowers mural, which had graced the building for the past year.

Students from Tampa Prep worked with artists on both projects. Artist Carl Cowden and seven students created the previous indigenous, nature-themed mural.

For the new one, Davis Islands artist Eileen Goldenberg and Jay Goulde, director of the Outdoor Arts Foundation, wanted to involve even more students. So they asked 30 Tampa Prep students to create self-portraits which Goldenberg incorporated into the red stripes of the flag.

The artwork marked the first mural that the Outdoor Arts Foundation has replaced on a public building. The not-for-profit was formed in 2002.

"Many people didn't realize we're using buildings as rotating easels," Goulde said.

Psychological Assessment Resources, J.O. DeLotto & Sons, the Wilson Company, Rental Service Corporation and Digital Impressions donated services and money for the mural, which will stay up for a year.

Digital Impressions printed posters of the mural that each Tampa Prep student will receive when school starts this fall.

The 40- by 60-foot mural faces Lykes Gaslight Park, across from Tampa Police Department on Franklin Street. Drivers can get a glimpse of it from the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway.

The red stripes of the flag feature the work of Tampa Prep art students. Goldenberg wanted to combine their faces with the patriotic theme.

"If there is hope for peace in our country, it is with the future generation," she said.

Goldenberg signed the finished mural on Saturday from a mechanical lift several feet up.

- Elisabeth Dyer can be reached at 226-3321 or edyer@sptimes.com

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