EchoPark celebrates the creativity of art students with a mural in a Tampa store

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EchoPark Automotive Tampa is about to get a whole lot more colorful, thanks to the creativity of local high schoolers.

The location, part of Sonic Automotive’s segment specializing in used vehicle retail, has announced the winners of its student mural competition to celebrate cars and the importance they play in our daily lives. .

The objective of the competition was for Howard W. Blake High School art students to develop designs for a mural on the exterior wall of the dealership.

According to a press release, 88 students submitted their visual interpretations of cars in today’s culture with a nod to Tampa.

The finalists’ designs were posted on Instagram for public voting. The artists with the top three designs with the most votes will receive a commission, and their designs will be blended into a single mural.

Winners include:

Valentina Sarrin – Grade 11

Phillip Woodside – Grade 11

Vittoria Haynes – Grade 11

The mural will be painted by local artist Carlos Pons, and EchoPark Tampa has partnered with Blake High School art teachers Molly Dressel and Linda Galgani to have their students enter the contest.

“Community involvement is at the heart of our business, EchoPark Tampa General Manager Todd DeVoogel said in the press release. “We thought having a mural designed and executed by local students and a local artist would be a great project that injects energy into the community.”

Painting of the mural begins this month and is expected to take 45 days.

EchoPark Tampa is located at 4636 N. Dale Mabry Highway, and the mural will be highly visible to passing cars on the busy road.

Sonic pointed out that all students who entered the competition will have the chance to participate in a mural day under the mentorship of Pons.

EchoPark is also donating to the art department at Blake High School. The school’s program includes a performing arts and visual arts magnet program in which any student in the Hillsborough County Public School District can audition to attend.

“EchoPark has been a great partner in this project,” Dressel said in the press release. “I am so happy that our students had the chance to participate in this creative way of expressing the intersection of travel (cars) and art.”

Pons is a painter and multimedia artist currently working in the Tampa Bay area. Born in Guatemala City, he is a self-taught artist whose work reflects the illusion of reality and human experience. His murals can be seen in the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas.

“The arts enrich our lives, our communities and connect us all,” said Sonic Chief Executive David Smith. “It is inspiring to see the creativity, energy and new vision of our industry reflected in the mural submissions, and we are thrilled to share the winning designs with our guests and the Tampa community.

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