Art Stumble 2020 will be an artistic mural painting event designed to promote pride in the Fort Myers Dunbar community, as well as a way to support economic growth with aesthetic enhancement. The Art Stumble 2020 block party will be held on April 25, 2020, where the community can watch the murals being painted before their eyes while enjoying other pieces of art on display, vendors, refreshments, and music.
Painting the concrete barrier wall behind McCollum Hall will feature 17 concrete panels measuring 7’ x 18’ each, with 16” columns between. The theme of the mural collection is a “wall” that symbolizes the positive influences of diversity, not division. Inspiration for the actual mural subjects will originate with McCollum Hall’s rich history as an entertainment stop on the Chitlin’ Circuit, a nickname given to a string of segregated performance venues throughout the Southeast and Midwest United States during the 1930s through 1950s. The subjects for the murals will be selected from the internationally-renown musicians who played at McCollum Hall, such as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Otis Redding, Lionel Hampton, Luck Milliner, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi.
In addition to unveiling a new cultural space on the eve of McCollum Hall’s rebirth, Art Stumble 2020 will also bridge an artistic connection between the Downtown River District—where The Mural Society has painted other murals—and the Dunbar section of the city. Along with the new mural wall, The Mural Society will collaborate with the Fort Myers Public Art Committee for the placement of two sculptures from the city’s Edgardo Carmona Statue Collection at the site.
The Mural Society’s event team has five years of experience creating similar events, with each growing larger than the previous one. Funding for this Art Stumble 2020 will originate from grants previously received by The Mural Society. This event will combine the talents of both local and international artists to create an artistic gateway into the City of Fort Myers.