Street Art Orlando: The West Art District

It’s warm evening in downtown Orlando. Groups of people gather around several small buildings near Paramore Street. This area is often considered sketchy and even dangerous by some, but there is no danger in sight. The sounds of shaking cans and ladders pierce the air. A cornucopia of colors floods the eyesight, and no-one is hiding. There’s nothing clandestine or illegal about these works of art. “I’m ready to paint something, I need to smell fumes”, Mikey says chuckling. They have been brought into the light and exalted by artists and fans, many of whom up until recently were forced to operate at night, often alone and in some cases under very dangerous conditions.

A mural in the West Art District. (Photo by Marshal Brown)
Artists Markus Rowntree and Mikey Lagaipa. (Photo by Marshal Brown)
A group of artists and art fans talk in the West Art District. (Photo by Marshal Brown)
A mural of the late emcee “Big Pun”. (Photo by Marshal Brown)
Artist Mikey Lagaipa. (Photo by Marshal Brown)

The people here have come to express themselves through sharp lines and broad strokes. Markers, paint, and rollers are everywhere. They tell the stories that these fearless artists have stored in their minds. The blank walls they cover have become mirrors peering into places that only the art can describe. This is what has come to be known as the “West Art District” a place where freedom of artistic expression is welcomed and appreciated. “Now that’s Street Art” says Markus Rowntree.

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