As part of the City of Gainesville’s Global Artist Program, world-renowned artist Ernesto Maranje will create a large mural at newly renovated Northside Park. He will start painting the west-facing exterior wall of the racquetball court Tuesday, Jan. 26, and is expected to complete the mural in the course of a week. Neighbors are invited to watch the artist at work during park hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
The project is funded through the City of Gainesville’s voter-approved Wild Spaces and Public Places program, and the Gainesville Art in Public Places Trust. Maranje’s mural will add to the city’s continually expanding public art collection.
Born in 1983 in Chicago and raised in Miami, Maranje is an accomplished artist, illustrator and muralist who developed his artistic talent as a result of a debilitating accident while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. After the accident, he began a new job painting large walls, and quickly developed a passion for street art. Driven by an intuitive spark, he enrolled at the Miami International University of Art and Design in 2011 to pursue his newly found passion, and began collaborating with street artists, expanding his mural skills.
Today, Maranje’s designs incorporate flora and fauna to create cohesive, nature-based concepts. His intention is to fuse design and environment to build awareness to man’s abusive tendencies with Mother Nature.
The simultaneous use of rollers, paint brushes, acrylics and spray cans transform the vast empty spaces, and enables the artist to experiment with vibrant colors and textures. Maranje emphasizes relationships between living creatures by employing enormous whimsical characters in action in his artwork. His mega murals can be seen in the U.S. and abroad including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Greece and Spain. His largest mural, Serenity, is 16-stories high and is located in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine.