The Historic Uptown neighborhood has a fresh, new mural! Wait, you haven’t seen it yet? Get down to the Laundromat located at 499 7th Ave N. next to Round Lake (look at the wall facing west).
This is a big deal because the neighborhood has been officially blessed by the hands of one of The Burg’s most well-known and respected artists, Chad Mize.
Chad is connected to the neighborhood as he regularly utilizes the Black Amethyst Tattoo Gallery on the corner of 7th Ave N. and MLK for art shows. Most recently, he held his Mixtape Art Exhibit there.
When asked why he chose this design, “I wanted to create something that POPS. I didn’t want to go figurative, I wanted to paint a pattern that would be fun for pictures. This is more my style.”
The design was inspired by the hex-block sidewalks that line our historic streets. Although Chad created the pattern previous to this project, “scaling up from a picture frame to a building facade is a huge challenge,” adding, “you better make sure the math is right!”
The 3/4 perspective, geometric pattern looks similar to a level in the classic arcade game, Q*bert, and this was not lost on the artist. “I thought about adding Mayor Kriseman’s face with two stubby legs, and Dali’s mustache as the snake.”
The color palette was selected to compliment the original mustard bricks that make up the front of the building.
And if that wasn’t enough, walk around to the wall facing EAST and see what you find….
Best of all, this is more than just art. This installation gives the corner, and the 7th Ave corridor, a brand new vibe. “It can be a crime deterrent,” Chad said, “it attracts good traffic to the area when people come to check it out.”
It also signals a neighborhood on the up-and-up. It is a celebration to everyone, both past and present, who has given their time and energy to moving this neighborhood along, and also to our diverse residents, who make our neighborhood the coolest in Saint Pete.
Big thanks to Chad Mize for his hard work and an equal big thanks to Niko, who spent plenty of time on the scissor lift with brushes in hand, helping Chad pull this off.
Finally, Chad mentioned he would like to express thanks to our neighborhood resident, Denise Deja, for making the initial connections for this project, and board member, Ben Gelston, for pulling the strings and seeing it through.