Saturday, May 16, 2009
"Kaleidoscope: A Heritage of Color" and hard charging basketball
I was flipping through one of the Bay area's glossy, slick lifestyle magazines, the best one actually, and was enjoying the fashion spread, the gorgeous women in fine couture, the food and fine art when I came to the last page and was stopped by the photo and story of Jason Busto, a fifth generation West Tampa native. Terrific guy, but what caught my eye was something I had never seen before, the incredibly colorful mural behind him. Why hadn't had seen it before? Kaleidoscope: A Heritage of Color, a mural by local artists Edgar Sanchez Cumbas and Guillermo Portieles, working as a team, created the monumental artwork. The photographer's credit in the magazine led me to West Tampa and the mural which was commissioned by the City of Tampa Public Art Program in 2007. It is big and covers an entire wall and stands majestically alongside a basketball court in Macfarlane Park. According to the city's press release when it was unveiled, the artists' concept was to represent the hard working individuals in West Tampa “who embraced a thriving social and cultural community through its broad mix of nationalities and religions.” (Clich HERE to see the entire mural and get more information.) José Martí (on the left with the mustache), the leader of Cuban Independence from Spain who came to Tampa to rally support for his cause, is so well represented. So, when I set out to find the mural in the park I was hoping to find people interacting with it in some way. I didn't know it faced the basketball court or that several powerful players from Tampa's Howard Blake High School would be working the court. Blake is one of our super creative performing and visual arts high schools which teaches and nurtures music, chorus, theater, dance, drama and the visual arts, including photography. Plus, obviously, some great weekend basketball. These guys can really play, hard. They made an incredible foreground to the mural behind. And an outstanding contrast and a compliment to the artists' work. The mural is exactly where it should be. What pure excitement and the moves on the court are pretty creative, too.