I had quite the adventure with my daughters this weekend. We strolled through the downtown streets of Fort Pierce and drove around Port St. Lucie viewing numerous wall murals. A variety of artists have enhanced the landscape of St. Lucie. The outdoor works of art add a touch of culture to the environment and the community.
Our journey began at the edge of the Indian River in Fort Pierce. Here, a life size manatee sculpture draws attention to a family portrait of sea cows. The three manatees appear to swim on the wall of the Fort Pierce Manatee Observation & Education Center. Just beyond this mural we could watch the real creatures relaxing in the warm water from the observation deck.
From the Manatee Center, we took a short drive to view a boat dock painted on the wall near Fort Pierce’s downtown parking lot. The entire back of the building depicts people working and bidding farewell to a couple sailing off in a small row boat. It may be tricky to see the entire piece on a Saturday due to cars parked in front of it.
We walked a few blocks west to view another mural. It features a train engine that is moving full steam ahead off the building which is appropriately adjacent to the railroad tracks. The juxtaposition of the work of art and the railroad crossing lights and tracks takes on a surreal quality when the Florida East Coast train rolls past it. Timing is key to capturing the perfect picture with the “Night Train” painting.
Across U.S. 1 is the Arcade building. A stairway and wall mural is rendered in two dimensional art with a three dimensional effect. The multicolored tile roof, people dining, a rambunctious dog tugging on a banner, and a man climbing a ladder seem to come to life. Perspective helps to create this ultimate illusion.
Next, we head to the Peacock Art District. A vacant building provides a unique canvas for stylized art focusing on pretty peacocks. We were able to experience both painted and living peacocks at this site.
Head north on U.S. 1 to get a close up look at the Sunrise City graffiti tag and more marine life art. Encounter a shark and a sailfish ready to tackle it out under the railroad trestle bridge on Avenue D.
Blending in with the pond and palm trees is a Florida wetland scene next to the Port St. Lucie City Hall building. The vivid sunset mural is a spectacular representation of our south Florida horizon and native birds. Late afternoon lighting provides the most picturesque time to view this artwork.
Some murals are Pokémon Go stops. My daughters enjoyed the artist’s work and were able to catch Pokémon at the same time. Four of the painted walls mentioned above provide an opportunity to capture a virtual creature ̶ “Bon Voyage,” “Choo Choooo,” “1926 The Arcade,” and “Horizons Mural.”
It is so refreshing to see the entire St. Lucie community embrace the arts.
Betsy Delano is a visual communications and advertising professional. She graduated with honors from Florida State University. In 1979, she relocated from Pennsylvania and became a St. Lucie County resident. Her passions include Pittsburgh sports, photography, raising two daughters, and Girl Scouts.