Open Letter to the people of Winter Park regarding The Shed murals |

Open Letter to the people of Winter Park regarding The Shed murals

Winter Park Group
The Carter, Creighton, Gimbel and Wilklow Families

Dear Winter Park Community:

We are truly sorry.

It is our deeds and not our words that will ultimately define who we are, and, left alone, we would not want to be defined by our recent actions. We understand why our treatment of The Shed mural has painted a pretty disappointing picture of ourselves.

We know how important the mural is to many members of the community, and it was never our intent to diminish its importance or the opinions of Winter Park residents.

Unfortunately, we have helped to form the wrong idea about us.

We are not some giant development conglomerate. We are four families who have our hopes, our dreams and our mortgages invested in this project. We are families who chose Winter Park precisely for its wonderful people after spending years making happy memories here. The last thing we wanted to do was offend the very community we chose to be a part of.

We are just people, and people make mistakes.

Our actions were irresponsible, but not malicious. While we were in the process of working out a solution to preserve the mural, we had arranged to paint the rest of the building.

Our painting contractor, who is not from the area, was unaware of the significance of the mural. They had been waiting for good weather, and when they saw a break they quickly began work. Unfortunately, we did not communicate well about painting the mural walls and you know the rest.

So where do we go from here? We would like to begin by offering some potential solutions. Even before we painted ourselves into this corner, we had been researching ways to provide the Town of Winter Park with a more permanent solution at our cost given the mural’s deteriorating condition. One way is to reproduce the mural from photos. It can be as large or as small as deemed appropriate and applied to any interior or exterior surface.

It has also been suggested that we commission the artist, Katrina Larson, to paint another mural in a public space, and we have contacted her to discuss what her thoughts are on this matter.

Ultimately, it is not our decision.

The fate of this public work of art should be determined by the very public for whom it was intended. We have reached out to the appropriate officials at Winter Park Town Hall to help ensure that our proposed solutions are both feasible and desirable.

Once we understand our parameters, we will leave the rest up to you.

In the coming weeks, we will provide a formal venue to gather your thoughts and opinions.

While we never imagined we would find ourselves in this situation, strangely we can’t help but feel a little grateful.

Our deeds could have merely defined us as “those developers who built Winter Park Square”.

Hopefully, through time, our actions and your grace, we can someday be known as your neighbors who worked to right a wrong.

We look forward to working with you.

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