MILTON — Much conversation in recent months has centered on an exterior mural on the side of the Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation’s Dragonfly Art Gallery, and whether the nonprofit organization should change it.
The mural features a half-sun with a face, an open book in front of it, and items representing several types of art surrounding the sun’s edge. They include a chef’s hat, needle and thread, pencil, paint brush, a tube of paint, a quill, a vase, theater masks, a bow and violin, a ballerina’s foot, a music symbol called a treble clef, and a camera.
Some residents have said the purple thread looks like sperm trying to enter an egg and questioned whether the nonprofit should alter the mural to something less suggestive. The story went viral on the Santa Rosa Press Gazette and Northwest Florida Daily News’ websites, and hundreds of readers shared their thoughts on the mural.
Now, a media release from the nonprofit states that just minor future improvements are planned.
“As defined by Webster, art is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects,” SRACF Secretary Pamela Holt said in a statement. “Furthermore, art is a subject where an interpretation of images lies with the beholder; an individual’s experiences, level of visual understanding and aesthetics come into play when considering any work of work.
“The new mural on the side of the Dragonfly Art Gallery displays images circling the sun to represent all genres of fine art. The design's artist, Toni New, local art teacher and SRACF board member, included as many of the tools and symbols for the arts as possible, not anything more.
“The SRACF board discussed the past article in the Santa Rosa Press Gazette and further comments on social media. The board decided to leave the mural as originally designed aside from further touch-ups, which may be needed in the future.”