Cultural landmarks come and go, and unfortunately, in the last few months Orlando has lost one of its own. Anyone who has driven on Mills Avenue just north of Colonial Drive couldn’t help but notice the five-story-high mural on the building alongside Snap! Orlando. An image of a melting cartoon figure with gloves, reminiscent of a certain mouse. It is a mural that looked tailored-made for the land of theme parks.

In 2014, Snap! Orlando, a contemporary art organization, brought German street artist Mark Gmehling to Orlando for the Snap! Attacks show. A week before the show opened Gmehling painted the mural on the building next door, thanks to that building’s owner being an art fan.

But the building recently suffered water damage and this summer went under repair. Holly and Patrick Kahn, the owners of Snap! Orlando (and Snap! Space downtown) saw the workers in front of the building. The mural was still standing at that point. A week later the workers were in front of the mural.

“I was completely in shock when I realized the workers were on that side of the wall, in front of the mural,” said Patrick Kahn, ”It was the beginning of the end. It feels surreal not to have the mural anymore, but we have a lot of memories and a nice augmented surprise coming up,” he said.

The surprise he was talking about is CITY Unseen (cityunseen.us). November 2nd-3rd  (cityunseen.us) The show, a public art project with installations throughout the city, will immerse viewers into an AR(augmented reality) world that will include experiences like projection mapping; bringing viewers into artist studios in select locations across metro Orlando, and much more. On October 6th there will be a one-night-only Projection Mapping Show on the First Green Bank Building from 8:00pm to 11:00pm.

Although Gmehling’s mural may be gone, do not count out seeing another Mark Gmehling piece in Orlando. “We are considering bringing Mark back,” said Kahn. “We’ll have to plan. And raise funds.”

This article is by Joseph M. Trask, who is a contributing writer for ArtScene Press.
Photo: Jean-Claude Rasch
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