The next time you drive through Orlando’s Mills 50 area keep your eyes out for a unique piece of art – something the city says will help keep it beautiful.
Artist Andrew Spear uses the utmost care when it comes to his passion -- painting. His latest project is a 40-foot long wall outside the Forbidden City Restaurant on Mills Avenue.
The wall is owned by the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and has been tagged a lot recently by vandals, so the city and the center are fighting paint -- with paint.
“It became expensive. We kept going and covering it back up and we tried to do it immediately and it was sort of a race against time,” said Randy Stephens, executive director of Orlando’s Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
The city of Orlando commissioned Spear to paint the mural using money from the city’s capital improvement fund.
“I consider this a huge capital improvement and just based on the feedback we’ve been getting for this, everyone loves it,” said Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan.
So far, the city, which has teamed up with Keep Orlando Beautiful, has also decorated and painted more than 30 electrical and utility boxes in the Mills 50 area.
Sheehan said she and other city officials took the train through downtown Orlando and took a look at all the areas that need to be covered from all the graffiti.
“We saw so much graffiti along that SunRail line going through Orlando and the mayor is now talking about doing a mural project. I think it’s really catching on in terms of this is the best way to deal with graffiti – it’s to go ahead and make real art out of it,” said Sheehan.
The mural will soon be covered with an anti-graffiti coating that allows paint to simply be wiped off should the mural be tagged again.