Let’s face it – or not face it – walls can be pretty dull. That’s probably why a boring town is referred to as a “hole in the wall.” We really never notice a wall unless perhaps a picture is hung on it.
But wait! What if the wall itself represents the canvas for a work of art? It then becomes a mural, and that turns a bland wall into a grand wall.
Clearwater offers some pretty amazing murals if you know where to look. Tourists and locals alike are often surprised as they round a corner and something new leaps out at them.
In this five-part series, Colorful Clearwater will explore the murals of the city. It’s probably not all-inclusive, either, as new discoveries can await with every right or left turn.
You might be surprised to know that so many murals exist, I’ll need separate categories for them all: Beach, Downtown, Gateway, Other and the East Shore Resort. The latter is the Louvre of Clearwater when it comes to murals. While the East Shore Resort is also on the Beach, it deserves an entry all its own.
From the iconic beach Clearwater postcard mural to the smaller Clearwater mural in downtown and more, join me as Colorful Clearwater presents the magnificent murals of Clearwater, Florida.
Quite likely the most famous mural is the Welcome to Clearwater postcard mural on the beach – . Located on the backside of the building of Crabby’s Dockside restaurant, this mural is a photographer’s dream, as the lighting changes at various hours of the day and night. Painted by Matt McAllister, a multiple-award-winning mural, chalk and 3D artist from Palmetto, Florida, who can also frequently be seen at the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival. His Facebook page diaries his artwork.
Like me, you’ve probably passed the Pier 60 Visitor Center numerous times on your way around the roundabout. Two murals adorn the building – one on each side.
The mural is as much an advertisement for Guy Harvey products as much as it is a work of art, as Surf Style sells quite of bit of Guy Harvey merchandise, and Guy Harvey Inc. has done a handful of murals – including one of the Fort Lauderdale skyline inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. The huge vertical mural in Clearwater is 44 feet tall and 24 feet wide – and rises 30 feet above the ground. The large artwork depicts the skyline as seen from the Gulf of Mexico and features Pier 60 – and in the distance – the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa, and Surf Style – with its gigantic mural.
At the Clearwater Beach Hotel, a surprise awaits as you round the building – a giant mural of colorful dolphins! And as an added bonus, if you take a closer look at the front of the building, you’ll spot some famous figures on the balconies.
Four more murals are painted on the building of Amplify Clearwater’s Clearwater Beach Visitor Center on Poinsettia Avenue.
And around the corner, a large painting of a paddleboarder on the side of Clearwater Beach Paddleboard.
Frenchy’s Original Cafe on Baymont Street is famous for its grouper, so naturally its mural shows it!
This mural can be seen in the Clear Sky Cafe plaza on Mandalay Avenue.
Across the street, you may recognize this building – the Pelican Walk Plaza. But did you know it hides a number of murals, such as this one in the hallway?
Or these painted business advertisement murals in the parking garage in the back?
I’ve probably driven past this one a million times without noticing it. Only recently, riding as a passenger, did I happen to glance out the window and catch a glimpse as the car passed by the alley where it’s located next to Jimmy Hulas.
Further south, Maggie Mae’s Sunrise Cafe on Sand Key boasts a colorful mural to go with their tasty breakfast offerings.
The next time you’re on Clearwater Beach, keep an eye out for more than the bikinis and try to spot some of the colorful murals that adorn the #1 Beach in the U.S.
Do you know of any more murals? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the other parts of the series: