Actor Bill Murray’s mug may be the new ambassador for a Jacksonville's Murray Hill neighborhood if a local artist gets his way.
Jason Tetlak has launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised half the money needed for a colorful mural - featuring Murray’s face - that would welcome residents and visitors to the Westside neighborhood.
Tetlak, who is based in Jacksonville, plans to put the money he raises towards the materials and equipment he needs to create the 75-x-16 foot mural and he's offering incentives to potential donors.
“If you donate certain dollar amounts, you get a little reward. So you know, I've come up with stickers and prints and things like that, that people can get for donating certain amounts,” Tetlak said on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Thursday.
A canvas opened up when a developer tore down the old Jones College building and exposed a big gray concrete wall. Tetlak says that wall needs Bill Murray:
“His reputation is kind of like hipster and cool and low key and I think that sort of represents Murray Hill pretty well. You know, when you think about Riverside, Avondale and Murray Hill, we’re sort of more of the cool hipster hangout place. And I think he fits very well with that.”
Through the Murray Hill Preservation Association, Tetlak has helped create and install a dozen murals. He has also painted murals in other parts of Jacksonville, and cities such as Miami, Key West and Cleveland.
If all goes according to the artist's plan, the new “Murray Hill Mural” would be on the right, just after you cross the railroad tracks on Roosevelt and enter the neighborhood.
However, like a lot of street art, this piece may not last forever, Tetlak noted:
“The property owner of the lot next door could potentially put in retail space that would cover the mural at some point. In my opinion, street artists sort of impermanent by nature anyway. And more important to me is that this gray wall is sort of the first thing people see when they come in the neighborhood.”
Tetlak is referring to land at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Plymouth Street that was formerly occupied by Jones College, which has been demolished.
WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record has reported developers want to build a a three-story, 788-unit storage building and a 5,000-square-foot retail building, with construction on the first phase possibly beginning by the end of April. The second phase, which is the part that would end up blocking the mural, is expected to begin after a user is identified, according to the Record.
Those that wish to contribute to Tetlak's mural project can visit this Kickstarter page.