18’x 115’, Acrylic on Block, 2008, Ruskin, FL, approximately 30 participants
The Community Mural Project launched the first annual BIG DRAW-Ruskin in the center of historic Ruskin. Michael, with assistant Dave Bush of Community Stepping Stones of Tampa, helped recruit a community group of local teens and adults, who spent 6 weeks in workshops and design sessions planning the mural. The intergenerational group engaged in an intense collaboration of research, photography, and discussion of possible ideas. Workshop sessions focused on drawing, painting, and digital processes as well as an introduction to skills and formal principles involved in both designing and painting a large-scale work.
The final design concept was based on John Ruskin’s social ideal that human happiness requires the mix of the head, heart and hand. The mural imagery includes references to the historic Ruskin, the agricultural and environmentally sensitive setting across the bay from urban centers, development and movement to future possibility. The design was completed in early October and painted over a four-week period.