Tampa artist Lakeema Matthew was chosen by Oldsmar City Council to paint two concrete facades aside the amphitheater in R.E. Olds Park. This marked the first public art project in the city’s history.
Matthews created the first mural, entitled Not Forgotten, saluting U.S. veterans, and paying homage to local soldier, Army Cpl. Frank R. Gross, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011.
She incorporated one of Gross’ creations from a photo of him during a surfing trip in Puerto Rico. Gross had used the photo as part of a graphic design, turning his outstretched arms into tree branches, leaves and birds ascending. Above it, Matthew included an image of 25-year-old Gross in his uniform.
The second mural, entitled WE’R.E. Olds-mar, was created to include several images honoring Oldsmar’s Centennial (2016) and the 1901 Curved Dash Oldsmobile. Matthews also included a depiction of the City’s founder, Ransom E. Olds, in the center.
Lakeema Matthewwas paid $11,000 for the murals. They were subsequently sealed by KAT Stucco for $8,326. Total cost of the mural project was $19,326.