As artists Angel Mir, Max Torres and David Astre worked on the “Welcome To Sunrise” Broward 100 mural, a commission headed up by muralist Alex Vahan, on a recent, sunny, week-day afternoon, they listened to upbeat club music. Mir rendered an enormous alligator eye. Torres sprayed shapes which made up three suns that had a native feel to it conjuring an abstract, leaning totem pole. Astre touched up his stylized typography on his section of the project that spelled out ‘City of Sunrise’ which resembled a tourist postcard. Eleven South Florida painters are a part of the project which is one of ten sponsored by Broward 100 Visual Eyes, part of a yearlong celebration commemorating Broward County’s Centennial.
Drivers in cars slowed to watch. Some people honked. Students from Sunrise’s Piper High School walked by and studied the artists wielding spray-paint cans and the images forming on the wall.
“We’ve had a great response,” said Torres, who goes by the name Arive, stepping back to take a look at his section of the mural of cool blue and green shapes. “People who walk through here stop and give us positive feedback. People feel that the mural gives life to the area and a sense of excitement. They’ve said to us: ‘I can’t believe we have something like this here!’”
Boxes of spraypaint were arranged at the foot of each section of the mural. Ladders are also important tools to reach the heights of the wall. The artist’s’ renderings are bold so drivers traveling on Spring Tree Drive can read the images of the Everglades, a Seminole and nature iconic to the city.
Some sections were still blank but project leader and artist Alex Vahan showed up with other painters and more supplies to work through the hot afternoon.