In the News

January 13, 2020

By: Crystal Vander Weit, Special to TCPalm

Annotation 2020-01-15 111318

Mural illustrator Benjamin Perez (right) gives Martin County High School art student, Aleesia Wise, 17, advice about painting one of the characters on the newest mural dedicated to local artists Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at the Gilt complex in downtown Stuart. "I love being part of the community and I love making art, so meshing that together is my favorite," said Wise. The mural celebrates four local artists, Chris Kling (painter), Geoffrey Smith (sculptor), Ron Corbin (musician) and Mark Muller (chef). The text in the center is an ode to the arts. The characters in the mural were rendered by Perez, a Martin County High School class of 2012 graduate. Students from Jensen Beach High School and the Clark Advanced Learning Center have also been selected to take part in the mural installation.

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WPTV: Martin County teens create ’Artist’s Manifesto’ in Stuart
January 3, 2020

By: Arthur Mondale, WPTV

STUART, Fla. — A new addition is in the works for Stuart’s growing arts community. It’s a mural and “Artist’s Manifesto” completed by Martin County high school students to inspire and lure artists and business.  

”We want people to stop and actually read it,” Benjamin Perez, a Ringling School of Art + Design illustrator, said. “I think we added a little color to the town.” 

Perez says his concept is reminiscent of a Leonardo DaVinci sketchbook to inspire and grow Stuart’s arts community. Students from Martin County High School, Jensen Beach High School and the Clark Advanced Learning Center will work over the next few weeks to bring his concept to life. 

”It’s supposed to inspire other people to do more art,” said Erin Whelpley, a Martin County High School student. “I want to be an art teach or at least something that deals with education to make more of an impact.”
The mural Whelpey helped trace Friday is 55 feet wide and 12 feet tall, and features the faces of well-known Martin County artists. The mural includes Chris Kling, portrait and landscape artist; Geoffrey Smith, sculptor; Ron Corbin, musician and the former music director and Mark Muller, culinary artist. 

”Culinary arts has taken a huge leap in the last 10-years,” said Muller, Ellie’s Downtown Deli and Catering owner. “It’s gotten to be a lot more art felt than it used to be.”

The mural is located on Colorado Avenue on the outside wall of Gilt Complex, a custom frame and art restoration service. The owner says the mural should not only recharge consumers appreciation for art, but support it. 

”A successful artist is also a successful business person -- otherwise they become starving artists. And nobody wants that,” Duncan Hurd said. “It’s not just painters. It’s dancers, sculptors, chefs, musicians, singers -- they’re all artists.” 

Martin County students plan to work on the mural during the weekends. The designer says the mural should be completed by March...

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