The City of Bonita Springs has unveiled it’s latest public art piece, a six-piece mural commissioned by local Marco Island artist Jarrett “J.J.” Stinchcomb.
Since 2005 the City of Bonita Springs has implemented the Art in Public Places program, an ordinance that requires money to be set aside for public art any time there is new construction or renovation made to a city-owned building.
Prior to the installation of the Stinchcomb’s murals, artist Laurent Dareau painted a 9/11 tribute on the side of the Bonita Springs Fire Station.
Stinchcomb is no stranger to murals. His artwork has appeared all over Marco Island, from the Sunshine Ace Hardware store, to the Marco Island Historical Museum, and even the Frank E. Mackle Community Park. His murals tend to focus on Southwest Florida’s history, natural beauty, and wildlife, all of which have inspired Stinchcomb to pursue his chosen career as an artist.
According to the Marco Island native, he’s been drawing for as long as he can remember, although he didn’t pick up a paintbrush until he was a sophomore in high school. He says that he is inspired by all things in nature.
“I have always been an artist,” he said. “I’ve always had a pencil or a marker in my hand.”
Each panel of the six-piece mural, located at Right at Home on Old 41 Road in Bonita, depicts the history of Bonita Springs, beginning with the Calusa Indians in the1500s and traces the city’s development up into the 1950s.
For Stinchcomb, the mural represents the merging of art and history, two things that he is very passionate about. It also represents Bonita Springs’ ongoing effort to preserve Southwest Florida’s history.
“I hope this mural can inspire artists who are hesitant or interested in an art career,” Stinchcomb said. “And that it also sparks an interest to get out and learn about our local history. It’s amazing the great history we have in Southwest Florida.”
The mural begins with a Calusa fishing scene, set on the Imperial River with Bonita Beach in the background. A Spanish ship can be seen in the distance. A Calusa Shaman looks to the sunrise, which represents the future.
The following scenes represent the growing agricultural landscape of the area, as well as the native wildlife that live in Southwest Florida. One scene depicts the Map of Survey from the 1850s to the 1900s created by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. A schooner “Eureka” can be seen in the background and represents the main way of transportation for travel, fish, and citrus fruit.
The final panel depicts panthers, alligators, and local birds, which are meant to represent the Everglades Wonder Gardens, a botanical garden established in 1936.
“I’m very blessed and humble for the opportunities and what the future holds for me as a career artist,” Stinchcomb said.
For more information on artist Jarrett “J.J.” Stinchcomb visit www.floridianart.com.