A new intersection mural in Downtown Tampa is helping guide people along the riverwalk
The mural is on the intersection of Cass and Tyler, which creates a gap between the Tampa Riverwalk
A new mural in Downtown Tampa is providing more than just a pretty piece of art to look at. The piece also serve as a navigation tool for people who are traveling along the downtown riverwalk.
The mural is on the intersection of Cass and Tyler, which creates a gap between the Tampa Riverwalk.
Karen Kress with the Tampa Downtown Partnership said the piece is unique as a wayfinding tool, and needed as people travel along the river.
"It's that kind of awkward gap where you have to come back off the river, over the street,” Kress said. “And the thing is, people get confused a lot. So we have some kind of hidden hints buried into the intersection mural that help basically tell you you're going the right way."
The mural contains arrows that will direct people back along the riverwalk. Kress said the entire project was a collaboration between the Friends of the Riverwalk, the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the city, costing about $8,000.
“Friends of the Riverwalk have identified this confusing intersection for a couple years,” Kress said. “So we turned it from a signage package to an intersection mural, with those arrows kind of going through the middle of it, so it's more of a design feature. So yeah, this has been on the to-do list for a while.”
Kress said it was important to get the mural done before the Tampa Riverfest, which begins the first weekend of May.
Jay Giroux is one of the two artists who worked on the mural. He said this is the first time he's worked on art that's also incorporated wayfinding.
"I do think that it does help with traffic calming as well, so being able to provide artwork that serves a function, potentially preventing an accident, that's amazing,” Giroux said.
In coming up with the design for the art, Giroux said it’s a combination of ideas from himself and other artist working on the piece, Anthony Freese.
“It's very water-inspired,” Giroux said. “It’s like a river of color that then has some more graphic elements that relate to water. Think about like a topographical map, how the water lines sort of are this radiating kind of organic shape.”
Kress said the mural should help prevent accidents among pedestrians and cars over the next five years, which is the average lifespan for a similar piece of art.
She said the Tampa Downtown Partnership is still working on other projects as well, like a project to better identify parking options in the area.