Pinellas Trail transforming into showcase of local mural artists

Parts of the Pinellas Trail are getting a much-needed facelift, thanks to a county program. The quest to beautify the trail is what's right with Tampa Bay.

Artists have been busy painting tunnels along the Pinellas Trail to create works of beauty for riders to admire. 

"It's great to see the positive feedback from people coming through the trail and enjoying the artwork that's going up,"  said artist Daniel Barojas. 

The artists are taking part in the Creative Pinellas Trail Mural Project. 

"I feel like this is a great project to do that because we're connecting the community with nature, with taking structures that are seemingly cold and concrete and bringing life to them," said Kimberly DeVito, of Creative Pinellas. 

The project is a part of the Pinellas County Graffiti Abatement Program.  

"The primary purpose of the murals from the county perspective is to deter graffiti vandalism," said Alexis Ferguson, of Pinellas County Transportation. "But we also have these beautiful murals to look at and for our trail users and our visitors to come and see here in Pinellas County." 

The initiative is a partnership between Pinellas County and Creative Pinellas and was started in 2018. 

"As the county's local arts agency, we trust Creative Pinellas to help us interview local artists, find the best ones and really highlight what our community wants to see on these murals," explained Ferguson. 

For local artists like Barojas, it's a way to show off his skills to the community. 

"Grand space and public art is a great way to reach a lot of people and to have your art seen and to share your creative visions with the world," he said.

Seven murals have been completed throughout Pinellas County so far. 

"The Pinellas Trail is enjoyed by 250,000 trail users each month, so the murals are going to be receiving a lot of visibility here in Pinellas County," Ferguson said. 

They're improving the beauty of the trail for the community to enjoy. Creative Pinellas hopes to do more projects in the future.