The brightness of that blue, the cerulean sky with the cabana stripe sunburst works – it’s real exciting and colorful,” said Gulfport Artist August Vernon who has been commissioned by the new Caddy’s at 3128 Beach Boulevard to create beach-themed murals on their exterior walls and security doors. Vernon is also the artist who did what is known as the “manatee mural” for Manatees on the Bay that closed January 31, 2019 after being open at the same location since 2016. And, he owns August Vernon Studios at 3043 Beach Boulevard.
Vernon is going for a “beach effect” that looks like nostalgic postcards: “Greetings from Gulfport, Florida” with the Caddy’s logo letters.
“Inside each Caddy’s letter will be a painting of Gulfport scenery, activities and architecture,” he said.
His intricate designs will also include one gecko he has named Owen to honor his late friend Owen Pach, a Tampa Bay local with ties to Gulfport who described himself as studio artist that created works as a glassblower. The naming rights to a second gecko that will be climbing around on the top of the two-story tower that faces Beach Boulevard will be given to a member of the public who wins a soon-to-be-announced competition, said Vernon.
Locals will also be able to interact with his mural art by posing for photos next to a life-size surfboard.
Another nuance will be a nod to his previous mural loved by many fans: Look for an exact miniature replica of three manatees hidden inside the new art. People will need to look “very closely. Like ‘Where’s Waldo?’ Possibly with binoculars,” he said. What is his favorite part? It will be on the Shore Boulevard side of the business that faces Boca Ciega Bay. “The real mural will be on the wall going up the steps including the adjacent walls,” he said. “That’s going to be a beautiful sunset painting looking out from Gulfport over the bay with the Don CeSar in the background” based on a fine art image by local photographer Debbie Wolfe, he said. Caddy’s will open soon in Gulfport adding to locations in Indian Shores, downtown St. Petersburg, Treasure Island and Bradenton. For updates about the mural and business opening, visit facebook.com/caddysgulfport.