As Posto 9 commenced construction in May, we installed a construction barrier at the front of the Main Street building to protect those that walk on the sidewalk, and prevent people from walking into the construction site.
As Marco and Grace Franca, owners of Posto 9, viewed the black colored barrier on a daily basis they decided it was too ugly a sight for the City of Lakeland. Based on an initial idea that came from a Florida Southern College graduate business class that brainstormed marketing ideas for the restaurant to increase community involvement, the Franca’s reached out to Dr. Daryl Ward, Principal at Harrison School for the Arts, with the idea and talked about ways to combine the spirit of Lakeland with the look of street art seen throughout Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Students in Harrison’s visual arts program typically spend the final weeks of their senior year working on a community service project. This year, students studied mural art — including a session with Ruben Ubierra, who painted a large mural at the Polk Museum of Art in April. Coincidentally, the Posto 9 idea was a perfect way to showcase what the students had learned on a mural where the entire city could enjoy. Five concepts were presented by the visual arts team, and the one that most fit the São Paulo-Lakeland connection was designed by seniors Nicholas Gauthier, Isabella Quenga and Nguyen Vu.
During a two week period seniors sketched, then painted the mural just in time for their graduation. The end result is an exceptional work of art which will be on display until the end of November.