After being damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center’s Celebration Wall was reintroduced to the community with the addition of local artist Brenda McMahon’s work on Saturday, September 18.
“Frank and Kathleen Cash walked into my gallery one day and had this idea to do a mural on the Senior Center wall…It went from this little sketch on a piece of paper to bigger and bigger,” McMahon said. “It was a beautiful project. It was really fun and of course it looks beautiful in this light.”
Heavily funded by residents Kathleen and Frank Cash, the wall features a 20-foot-long ceramic and glass frieze above its collection of dedicated stone squares of benefactors of the Senior Center at 5501 27th Ave. S.
Though it’s growing, much of the wall is still blank.
“As you see, we have a number of plaques on here that have been either dedicated or purchased by individuals,” said Gulfport Senior Center Foundation President Ronald Coyne. “What we’re hoping to have this whole piece populated in not too long.”
A change from the original green leaf topper by artist Jonathan Schork in 2014, McMahon’s ceramic mural features blue glass and a sunset field of Floridian plants.
“When I’m given an opportunity to do something large, it’s just exciting and this is probably my biggest piece to date,” McMahon said.
Brick by Brick
At the Saturday ceremony, a table of red bricks sparked conversation of the next art project to benefit the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation – the Veterans Park Memorial Ribbon Campaign.
The bricks, each engraved, will eventually pave the way for a sidewalk in Gulfport’s Veterans Park at 5350 31st Ave. S.
The length of the future cobblestone path will depend on the number of bricks purchased, at $100 to $175 per brick.
“The idea has been around for a while, but we’re just now getting it off the ground,” said Senior Center Foundation Chairman Larry Kennedy. “This will be a huge fundraiser for us.”
The timeline for the installation is unclear, but will most likely be this year.
Participate with your own brick at bricksrus.com/donorsite/gulfportfoundation.