Downtown Bradenton has a diverse, high quality collection of over 60 pieces of public art. The new City Centre Garage will soon be home to a mosaic mural titled, The Magic River.
The Magic River was created by Pittsburgh artist, James Simon. Simon spent time in Bradenton learning about the community which inspired his work on the piece.
James Simon believes public art brings about positive change in neighborhoods and cities, and that community vitality is connected to beauty and art for people. Due to Simon’s dedicated work in communities he has been awarded the “Artists and Cities Award” in 2015 by Pittsburgh’s ACTION Housing as well as the “Neighborhood Leader Award” from the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).
The mosaic mural is approximately 6’ tall x 120’ long and is created out of ceramic tile integrating a variety of materials mostly made in the artist’s studio.
The bright color blue representing the Manatee River flows throughout the entire piece.
Every 8 to 10 feet a new main image or theme emerges with relevant background and colors.
Themes reflect the vibrancy of downtown Bradenton including baseball, wildlife, fishing, music, walking along the river, skateboarding, and biking to name a few.
The mural will be installed June 24 – 28, 2019 on the north wall of the City Centre Garage located just south of City Hall.
Press is welcome to visit the installation site. Please coordinate with Director of Marketing and Communications, Brian Craft at Brian@RealizeBradenton.com or (941) 323-3774.
A diversity of Bradenton residents will work at the ArtCenter Manatee to create ceramic bugs, butterflies, and fish which will become part of The Magic River. On Thursday, June 27th and Friday, June 28th from 6pm – 8pm, approximately 20 ‘apprentice ceramicists’ will learn from artist James Simon and craft ceramics which will become part of his mosaic mural.
Meet the Artist
Members of the community are welcome to meet the artist on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 from 10am – 11am which is open to the public on site. James Simon will discuss the inspiration for The Magic River and his creative process.
About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that builds community and promotes economic prosperity. Bringing people together to realize possibilities and transform public places helps shape Bradenton as a city where people want to contribute, live, work, and play. Working with our partners, investors, donors, and volunteers, we build a vibrant, healthy, fun community using arts, culture, heritage, and food.
For more information visit RealizeBradenton.com.
The City of Bradenton has a diverse, high quality collection of 65 pieces of public art in downtown. WalkBradenton.com which launched in April 2017 and boasts just under 200,000 views, is a responsive website viewable on all electronic devices and features information about pieces of public art, 25 historical sites, and 155 places to eat, shop, play, and stay.
Photos courtesy of Jessie Wardarski of Post-Gazett