Collaboration brings new mural to life
A behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of designing and installing Lake Nona’s newest mural.
Lake Nona’s art scene is known for making ordinary things extraordinary. From the main lobby at Pixon to the “Code Wall” parking garage in Lake Nona Town Center, our unique collection of community art offers interactive experiences in otherwise plain spaces.
Our latest installation is an expansive mural near the “Code Wall” called “Prismatic.” The mural was designed by local artist and Tavistock Development Company Senior Graphic Designer Carissa Bloemeke, who’s also responsible for the striking chalk mural in Pixon’s main lobby.
The new mural’s vibrant display was inspired by the spectrum of colors produced by a deconstructed prism and was installed by Lake Nona resident and small business owner Samantha Senf of Samantha’s Walls.
Behind the mural’s walls is an all-new, 8,500 square-foot chiller plant (a centralized system that cools the air for a collection of buildings). The chiller plant will support the expansion of Town Center including new buildings like the Wave Hotel and Lake Nona Performance Club. Compared to alternative systems, using a chiller plant offers improved air quality, requires less maintenance, and saves 20-30% more energy.
In this Q&A, Carissa and Samantha take us behind the scenes of their collaborative creative process that transformed the walls of a sustainable chiller plant into a community art piece.
Q. Tell us about your inspiration for this mural
Carissa: I wanted this mural to look like a deconstructed prism – almost as if someone clapped their hands and particles of colors from a rainbow dispersed, flew around, and landed on the wall to create a new pattern.
For the layout and alignment of the colors, I drew inspiration from my sketchbook where I was testing different markers in rectangular shapes. I think it’s really interesting to be able to take inspiration from daily life and how something unintentional can be inspiration for something very intentional. I spent a while playing with different ideas and I kept going back to that page in my sketchbook. Sometimes, your best ideas happen when you aren’t directly focusing on the task at hand.
Q. How did you go about selecting the colors?
Carissa: There are 20 colors in total to represent 2020 – the year of the installation. The colors themselves may look random, but were chosen with attention to detail. I wanted to create movement by using cool and warm tones in a subtle up and down zig zag pattern across the building, while making sure all interactions of colors in columns and rows remained harmonious.
The light gray base color of the building was chosen to match the look of unfinished concrete, which gives the mural an industrial look. The base gray allows the spectrum of colors to contrast and pop off the building.
Q. Tell us about the installation process
Samantha: This project was our first commercial outdoor mural and our biggest challenge yet!
On the chiller plant, we used 225 gallons of paint custom-made by our friends at Lanco to cover the interior and exterior between the primers, colors, and sealers. When we saw the unique colors Carissa chose, we knew some would need more layers than others to truly bring her vision to life. We used two coats of primer and four or more coats of color – the red and yellow blocks all have at least eight layers of paint!
At the beginning of the installation process, we drew each block three or four times by hand using chalk lines and tape. The installation process took us about eight weeks to complete.
My team of five includes myself and my husband as graphic designers, an architect, and two civil engineers – all from Venezuela. We grew as a team on this project and are so proud of the work we did to bring the mural to reality.
Q. What is the most inspiring thing about the mural to you?
Samantha: Lake Nona inspires me every day. We moved here from Miami because we love the color, the landscaping, and the community that Tavistock is developing here. What we love most is how Tavistock is always striving to create the best type of living for Lake Nona’s residents – full of life and art.
We saw a bridal photo shoot and many others in front of the mural. That’s what has been the most inspiring and rewarding about this project – the community’s interaction with the mural.
Carissa: I hope that people immediately smile and feel joy when they see the mural! Typically, when you’re outside it’s the same old trees and white walls, but it’s different in Lake Nona – you don’t get tired of your surroundings because the beauty of art surrounds you. I’m grateful to work on projects like this that add color and happiness to the world when we need it most.
The “Prismatic” mural’s finishing touch, a custom geometric letterform “Lake Nona” sign, is featured on the exterior wall facing the Veterans Way entrance to Town Center.
Check out @SamanthaWalls on Instagram to see highlights from the installation of the mural.