LAKELAND — The latest mural to be painted in the city is one artist’s way of permanently honoring the community that raised him.
Lakeland native Ahmad Taylor started carefully painting the black outlines of the third and final mural commissioned by the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency on the outside wall of Boring Business Systems overlooking East Main Street late Tuesday night.
The artwork will feature Lake Mirror’s Loggia underneath a stylized “Lakeland” boldly written with many of the city’s iconic symbols, like swans and airplanes, popping out of individual letters.
“I wanted it to bring the community together,” Taylor said. “I wanted to incorporate the community through the artwork including the stakeholders, schools, businesses and city’s influences.”
The artist reached out to one of his friends from his days at Rochelle School of the Arts, Zach Maisenbacher, who is now a fourth-grade teacher there. The discussion led to seven students from the school’s Advanced Portfolio class picking up brushes Wednesday morning to help bring the mural to life.
“I wanted the students, when they look back 10-15 years from now, to be able to say, ‘That’s something I helped create as well’,” Taylor said.
Brandie King, teacher of Rochelle’s AP class, said each year her eighth-grade students are tasked with designing and creating a mural on the school’s campus. This is the first time they’ve helped in a city project as their end-of-year field trip.