Our Mural

Here’s where you can find the facts about the Cultural Council’s mural on the south-facing wall of our headquarters in Downtown Lake Worth Beach.

Overview

In 2017, internationally-renowned Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra painted the “I Have a Dream” mural on the back of the Cultural Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach as part of the CANVAS mural festival. The theme of the festival was “Unity” and Kobra’s 36 ft. design is his rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech during the March on Washington. Since then, the mural has served as a backdrop for the Cultural Council’s outdoor events, as well as a destination for residents, visitors, and photographers alike.

Unfortunately, the mural is at the end of its lifespan. The Florida sun has faded the artist’s original design, and the building has cracks and other damage that must be repaired. The Cultural Council (a 501(c)3 nonprofit) has raised the funds to replace the mural and has had community conversations in Lake Worth Beach to inform about the deterioration of the mural, answer questions, and to consider ways to celebrate the current mural and plan for a new large-scale mural in the space that aligns with our mission to support Palm Beach County-based professional artists.

Mural in 2018, photo by ©Sargent Photography

Mural in 2024

Why does the Cultural Council need to replace the mural?

The original mural was created using an aerosol-based application (spray paint) unique to this artist. This makes it nearly impossible to restore. The mural was also never clear-coated after it was completed, which would have provided some protection from UV exposure. Over the years, the Cultural Council has hired Palm Beach County-based professional artists to touch up the mural after graffiti tags and weather damage to the garage door (part of the wall that is susceptible to paint chipping). Not only is the mural extremely faded, but the building is also in need of repair. There are visible cracks and leaks that need to be addressed.

Why wasn’t the original artist hired to repair/replace the existing mural?

When the Cultural Council recognized the current mural was beginning to fade and lose the artist’s original intent for the work, the nonprofit began the work to decommission the piece. This work was informed by public art best practices and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (a part of U.S. copyright law). The mural’s original artist, internationally-renowned Eduardo Kobra, was informed about the state of the piece and the plan for decommission and it was determined to be cost-prohibitive to bring him and his large team back to Florida to create new artwork, in addition to the significant cost of repairing the building. The Council also sees this project as an opportunity to give work and exposure to a Palm Beach County-based artist (or artist team), which is central to its mission as a local arts service agency.

What will the new mural look like?

While we don’t know what the new design will ultimately be, the Cultural Council plans to build upon the previous notion of “Unity” and ask artists to celebrate the concept of community in their design proposals, with themes that include healing, unity, connections, wellness, and/or belonging. There was a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that was open to Palm Beach County artists from March 25 – April 19, 2024. As the mural will face the outdoor property that will be developed into a future Art & Wellness Space, themes highlighting nature and tranquility are also encouraged. Three finalists were selected through a competitive process and a panel of arts professionals, whose concepts are now on display at the Cultural Council plans with open availability for feedback through June 15.

Will the Cultural Council have a process to preserve the new mural so that it can stay up longer?

Murals are by their very nature meant to be temporary. The average lifespan for an outdoor mural in Florida is 5-7 years with proper clear-coating and maintenance. The Cultural Council plans to follow best practices with this new project including having a formal contract between the new artist, the Council, and the community that outlines their respective responsibilities and defines the intended lifespan of the artwork with a budget for proper clear-coating and maintenance over this period.

How can the community provide feedback?

Your feedback is valued. The Cultural Council worked with Barbara Cheives of Converge & Associates Consulting to conduct community conversations in Lake Worth Beach. The Council has held a public commemoration and celebration of the former mural on April 27, 2024 and the community will be invited to help us ring in milestones for the project. Furthermore, all are now invited to contribute feedback on the new mural’s designs, which are featured on display in the Council’s lobby now through June 15.

What’s next?

The Cultural Council launched the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on March 25 in search of a new artist. The deadline for submissions was April 19, and the selection panel comprising visual art professionals, board and staff representatives from the Cultural Council, and a representative from the City of Lake Worth Beach have reviewed and selected the three finalists listed below. Please visit the Council now through June 15 to learn more about each artist, see their concept for the new mural, and provide feedback.

The selection panel will choose the final artist later in June.