Public art helps define Tallahassee

Published: Jun. 4, 2018 at 4:39 PM EDT
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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 4, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)— A Tallahassee sculpture is quickly becoming an icon in the Capital City.

The “TLH” sculpture at Cascades Park has become a hot spot for photos for residents and visitors alike. But, it’s not the only piece of public art that’s drawing attention. As the community works to create a brand for itself, more and more street art is popping up.

"I try to create pieces that don't need explanation, you should be able to look at it and see, or feel what was intended,” said artist Kollet Probst.

Probst is one of the latest artists to transform a blank building into an eye catching masterpiece. She is currently working on a mural at the Grace Mission soup kitchen. Probst, along with dozens of children she recruited, are depicting a city scene supported by youth on the Brevard Street building.

"(Art) puts feet on the street. When people come and they're out exploring and tourists come through Tallahassee, they can actually see a representation of what we're actually providing,” she said.

Other recently completed projects include the TLH sculpture at Cascades Park, the “I heart Tally” mural at Kleman Plaza and ceiling to floor murals at the Railroad Avenue bar GVO.

"They just kind of become landmarks,” said Cosby Hayes, a local muralist who contributed to all three projects.

He said the growing trend of public art helps put Tallahassee on the map.

"It creates kind of a destination. So people want to come see it. They want to come experience it, whether they're from here or not,” said Hayes.

That draw can be viewed on social media, as people post photos at the various murals and sculptures around Tallahassee. And, more and more businesses are also collaborating with artists to come up with unique facades for their buildings.

"Any public art enhances the impression of the destination. Not just visually, but also it's telling a story,” said Leon County Tourism Director Kerri Post.

For local artists, they hope that story is one of originality.

"Tallahassee is definitely growing. And there are two ways to develop a town,” said muralist Sarah Painter. “You can put up big gray walls, or you can add some color, and some flair and some personality."

Adding a sense of place to a growing community.