Eau Gallie Arts District – Call for mural artists!

by Chip Curry

I heard about the “EGAD” call for mural artists from the Brevard Cultural Alliance. I have been working with them for years. When I worked at Devereux, they helped us organize and fund the annual “Faces Without Names” Devereux student art show. I have done several grant projects with them, including an open door mural project with volunteer teens at Melbourne square mall, a mural project with the advanced students at Gardendale Charter School in Merritt Island, and a mural project with Palm Bay Police Athletic league in Palm Bay. I also did the Black History Mural in the Booker T Washington Neighborhood for the Brevard Neighborhood Development Coalition and the Melbourne Housing Authority, along with two cold pour bronze busts of Booker T. Washington (featured here).

I first came to the area in 1967 when my Dad was doing some sort of flying and survival training to prepare for his upcoming tour in Viet Nam. I loved the hardscrabble beach habitat, surfing and world class fishing here. I hated to leave. I swore that, one day, I would come back.

I found my way to Eau Gallie (pronounced Oh Galley) in 1978. There was a perfect old studio apartment on Pineapple that used to be swanky town-homes for well to do snowbirds back in the twenties and thirties. It had high ceilings, tall windows and excellent ambiance. I rented a mini warehouse in Indian Harbor Beach and set up shop. My first big job here was for Nelson and Karen Green at the Great Southeast Carpet Gallery. They renovated the old movie theater for their showroom and warehouse. The plan was to cover the block long wall facing east with a giant mural depicting people in the neighborhood, the mailman, their dog, false windows and doors, trees, flower beds, etc. I was thrilled that I would be busy for months with such an innovative customer.

However, someone complained, and the city of Melbourne stopped me. They categorized the art as a sign and it was well over the size limit. A hearing for an exception was fruitless. I was sorely disappointed that they would only allow the forklift. Time passed and the Greens outgrew their building. They moved north of town on US-1, and asked me to do a sandblasted sign, cast resin sculpture and stucco logo for the front of their new business location. They hit the big time and are Flooring America, now (same location).

GSECG Sins, murals. architectural decor.

Detail of Carpet Mural

Resi Sculpture

I find it exciting that Eau Gallie is an art district now. They are actually trying to find me to paint a mural. I wonder if they know it. Would you call me a liar if I told you this was my vision for the town? All of the quaint little stores and shops are filling up with artists, specialty stores, eateries, and even a clinic. I would love to have my own shop there again. I think you could make a go of it. The merchants and leaders of the little community are doing a tremendous job of promoting the little commercial district and its classic “ Avante Garde Cracker” charm.

These folks have synergized to energize and I want to get on board. I have 10 years of experience as a vocational instructor at Devereux Viera (adolescent mental health facility). I painted miles of murals there. I was their official resident artist. They asked me to start an apprentice program and we went on to build a premier vocational program with small engine repair, beauty salon, wood shop, printing, and animal care. In my classes, we did molding and casting, sign and display, set design, matting and framing, and mural apprentice. We did commercial painting as well. It was a successful effort.

Sign and Display Class and Aprentice Program

These guys were no cream puffs! After a few weeks in my class, you would find them to be on task, respectful, and full of pride. They responded well to the discipline, training, and trust required to perform as a team on a professional level. They earned minimum wage for their effort.

We painted murals on all five residential units at Devereux. It is hard to chose favorites, but this is a good one.  I am especially proud of my apprentices who helped.

 “American Dreams Coming True” Devereux Cafeteria by Curry and apprentices.

American Dreams Coming True mural at Devereux

Chuck Berry in front of Drive In

Elvis Caddy

I have been focusing on sculpture a lot lately. I have been perfecting cold pour bronze and cultured marble techniques. Here are a couple of recent sculptures. Perhaps there is room for a bas relief appliqué in the plans of EGAD. Maybe they will commission a free standing sculpture. It would look good in the square. Most sculpture is static. I like movement and action.

Recent Sculptures – casts available from Pure Ocean TV.com

Osprey Yin Yang – cultured marble

Shepard – cultured marble

BT washington

BT Washington Bust – cold pour bronze

Resin Olive Sculpture with tile

I hope this approach will be effective in helping me nurture relationships and become more involved with the local art community. I will be over-joyed to receive one of the mural jobs. I could use the work. I believe I have paid my dues and earned the opportunity to secure a commission. It will be an honor to work with EGAD towards a successful future for us all. I have submitted a design, but I am willing to modify it for the owners if they choose me as the artist they want to execute the job.

Exterior and Interior Murals

Painting the Sign

Sign Design

Working in Gym

Rings Guy

Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth 6′ x 8′

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington Project

Cafe' Main Wall

Pineda Cafe”

!,000 Islands

Thousand Isands Sunrise – 4′ x 6″ acrylic

Blank~~element71

Detail of Indian River Lagoon Mural – acrylic

Detail of hand painted sign.

Detail of hand painted sign.

First Fish (Mural Detail)

Award Winning Hand Carved Signs and Objects De-Art

Hand-carved Sign

Detail of Mahogany Door

Sandblasted and Hand-carved Sign

Hand-carved Mahogany Clock

Sandblasted & Handcarved Mahogany Sign

Detail of Sandblasted & Hand-carved Redwood Sign

Carved Figure for Sign

Detail of Resin Cast

There are hundreds more to show, and who knows how many more to be made. I hope you enjoyed the work. I appreciate Pure Ocean TV for allowing me this indulgence. I am looking forward to watching Pure Ocean TV.com grow and hope their dream of impacting the ocean, our environment and world for the better comes to fruition. Remember, everything eventually ends up in the ocean. Please keep it clean upstream.

Dr Joe Mural

WD Curry 111 Entry for Mural

William D. (Chip) Curry III has been recognized as an artist in residence for Brevard County, Florida. He has executed numerous grant projects (murals, sculpture and community training) in the area.

He was a rare English major at Annapolis, until he forsook a naval career to study journalism at Coastal Carolina College. He then attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fl.

Curry has established himself as a premier sign/graphic designer, woodcarver and muralist. He helped to usher in the era of sandblasted wooden signs through his successful entries in national and international design competitions. He was actively recruited by Harris Corporation to design and fabricate large displays for venues like Kennedy Space Center, Space Museum and Paris Air Show. He was honored several times for innovation and excellence in graphics and fabrication.

Curry was a muralist and vocational instructor for Devereux Viera, Fl. (adolescent treatment center) from 1990-2001 where he executed murals at various facilities, initiated an apprentice program and helped establish and develop curriculum for their “flagship” vocational department. He has been a contributing editor for Coastal Angler Magazine since 1998 where his off-beat articles have helped him establish a reputation as a staunch conservationist and backwater sage.

Presently, he is a freelance multi-media artist, writer and musician (harmonica and midi wind instrument). While he is extremely versatile, his art is focused mainly on paintings, prints and sculpture. He also works in digital, video/sound production and animation. He is a regularly published essayist and is working on his first novel, “Prices Always Go Up Near the End of the World” (copyright 2012).

2 Comments

  1. Paul Peck
    09 February 14, 3:18pm

    Great read and beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your story Chip.

    • 09 February 14, 3:27pm

      Thanks Paul. I should have put a guy catching a snook that was jumping out of the water with a big splash on the left side. They went with more action. Maybe next time.

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