Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Apopka History Mural Project Continues!

In Apopka, FL, the Farmworker Association has been working since August of 2019 to begin the implementation of a mural project. While the idea began in August, it's taken months to figure out all the details, contacts, plans, and coordination for the project. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic that has left most members of the community quarantined, the artists behind the Apopka History Mural continue to work, so that once it is deemed safe they will be able to dive in and finish this project that has taken months of work and dedication from so many others.

Artist Linda Lee - a lifelong member of the Apopka farmworker community, one of the lead artists for the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial quilts, and the lead artist on the Apopka History Mural project.

Artist Sarah Downs - one of the lead artists for the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial quilts, and one of the lead artists for the Apopka History Mural project.
The months of planning mostly involved figuring out what the mural would feature, receiving community input and ideas, and also logistics for where and when the mural would be ready. The planning team interviewed several Apopka residents to hear what they had to contribute to the mural, and also got a chance to submit Apopka farmworker histories to the Samuel Proctor Oral History Project at the University of Florida. After the interviews were completed, we had enough ideas to begin the painting process. Yet, just as the wood had been ordered and the artists were ready to prep for the painting process, coronavirus locked Florida down and, in order to protect the health and safety of our artists, we put a hold on the mural project. This has not stopped our artists from working at home to finalize the mural content.

Sketches and paintings from Linda and Sarah for the Apopka History Mural Project
This past week, several members of the Apopka History Mural planning team got together and completed the sanding and priming of the wood that our mural will be placed on. Now, once the wood has dried, we will be able to begin the process of painting and bringing the mural to life. While we are still prioritizing health and safety at this time, the mural planning team believes that if we continue to practice social distancing and keep our meetings small, then we can continue to meet and further the mural, even during this uncertain time. 

Linda and Sarah interviewing Apopka resident, Leroy, in January.

Linda and Sarah interviewing Apopka resident, Mae, in February.

Sarah working with Linda's grandsons on sketches for the mural project in February.

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