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New Murals Grace "SoMo" Corridor

Tom Flanigan

The South Monroe Street entrance to downtown Tallahassee now includes murals that grace the supports of the railway bridge over the roadway. Local officials say it’s the start of a makeover for what has long been an unimpressive approach to the State Capitol.

The murals are part of the “Street Art Tallahassee” project hosted by COCA, the Council of Culture and the Arts headed by Audra Pittman.

“This is going to be the first step in marketing as a catalyst for change and development in this area in SoMo and South Monroe and the whole corridor,” she said during ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the project on Tuesday (5/17).

It’s the latest work of mural artist Chiara Saldivar and her team, who have been gracing other parts of the city with their visions. And Leon County Commission Chair and relentless Southside advocate Bill Proctor applauded the effort during Tuesday’s ceremonies.

“We want you to push the envelope and we don’t want to become just deadhead bureaucrats,” he exhorted the artists and the COCA officials present. “We want you to rattle our cage and move us toward the aesthetic that we will not become part of the mundane.”

The murals are on the supports of the CSX railroad overpass, just yards away from the pedestrian walkway that will link Cascades Park to the FAMU Way trail and eventually out to Lake Munson.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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