Urban Mural Project

Brooklyn artist recruits local children to paint Downtown


Urban Mural Project wants to give community schoolchildren a taste of large scale art.

Brooklyn artist Cris Dam will mark his place, with the help of a six local schoolchildren, along a street in Downtown Jacksonville during One Spark April 17-21.

The concept for the Urban Mural Project came about after Dam’s first mural project with Muslim schoolchildren in Berlin in May 2012. The project, funded by the American Embassy, was a huge success.

Inspired by the children he worked with in Berlin, Dam decided he wanted to do more community-involved murals. After completing a mural in Connecticut, Jacksonville became a place of interest. A friend of Dam’s had recently relocated to the city and introduced Dam to local blues and jazz singer, Mama Blue aka Sarah Sanders.

Sanders helped Dam coordinate with the schools to find children to help him paint a mural downtown. Students from Andrew Robinson Elementary, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and KIPP Impact Middle School will be contributing to the mural.

Murals are a labor of love Dam says, and with the Urban Mural Project he hopes to create a work of art the community can be happy with and be a part of. Dam enjoys the large scale and accessibility of murals to the public.

“Environmentally, it is something people can talk about, relate with and socialize with,” Dam said.

One Spark spectators can view the progress of the Urban Mural Project at Laura Street between Adam and Forsyth streets.

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