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Picture perfect

Carrabelle sports the first of two new murals

Carrabelle has emblazoned its self with a giant mural and is
soon to get another.

Since 2016, board members of the Carrabelle Community Redevelopment
Agency have looked to fund a Mural in Art project to celebrate Carrabelle’s beauty
and river vistas.

But finding a property owner within the CRA district willing
to donate an appropriate wall became a challenge. In February, Janalyn Dowden,
owner of an office building at 108 SE Ave. A downtown that houses First Choice
Construction and the Hairspray Salon, offered the eastern wall of the building.

As it is not directly on U.S. 98, this wall is somewhat off
the beaten path. Familiar with the subject by studying other Florida locales,
Mayor Brenda La Paz found research that murals help bring pedestrians,
visitors, and customers to locations that normally don’t have this activity.
She photographed the proposed wall location and searched for mural artist teams
with extensive experience. He husband, Greg Kristofferson, volunteered his
services to produce a CAD drawing for accurate measurements, and the information
was presented in March to the CRA board.

After the CRA approved the location, several artist teams
responded to a Request for Proposal. The CRA approved proposed renderings and
price quotes, and a decision was made to sign a contract for $14,000 between
the artist team, the property owner and the CRA. Among those terms are that any new owner must keep the mural in place should Dowden sell the building.

The team of Anat Ronen of Houston, Texas, and Sonny Franks
of Lilburn, Georgia worked on the mural all last week, creating a 60-foot long
by approximately 12-foot-high Mural in Art, depicting a view of three pelicans
flying over the Carrabelle River, the Tillie Miller Bridge in the background,
and a seagull flying over marsh grasses.

Ronen is considered one of the premier mural artists in the
country, specializing in wildlife renderings. She traveled to Carrabelle
directly from Washington, Illinois where she just completed a Wall Mural for
the Washington, Illinois Historical Society. You may see her work on Facebook www.facebook.com/anatronen1971/ and

Franks, owner of Sign Creations in Lilburn, Georgia, has
produced Murals in Art for Atlanta, Suwanee, Duluth, Lilburn, and Smyrna, Georgia;
Danville, Kewanee, Pontiac, Streator, and Arcola, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota;
Delavan and Plymouth, Wisconsin; Keene, New Hampshire; Westerly, Connecticut; and
Anderson, South Carolina. You may see his work at www.signcreations.net/

“This unique, one-of-a-kind painting would not have been
possible without the kind and generous donation of Ms. Janalyn Dowden to use
her property for a public art project,” said La Paz.

The CRA board members and staff have secured a second
agreement with the Sarah Painter and Cosby Hayes Walls of Tallahassee
artist team to paint the FDOT retaining wall on Hwy 98 in Carrabelle between NW
8th and NW 9th streets. At this time, they are awaiting FDOT’s final approval
to begin this second Mural in Art project.

“Knowing murals attract new businesses and tourists that
bring improvements and help to boost the economy in the area, Carrabelle’s CRA
has expressed interest in continuing its mural program that will eventually
result in walking/biking public art tours as a way for residents and visitors
to interact with the City of Carrabelle,” said La Paz.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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