Noonday Sun: Central Ave. in its Heyday, 1920-1967

      handmade, carved, ceramic wall art tile by Natalie Blake
handmade, carved, ceramic wall art tile by Natalie Blake Studios

Noonday Sun: Central Ave. in its Heyday circa 1920-1967

  This mural depicts the noon day sun at center left of the mural. Radiating outwards are many of the accomplishments, inspirations, trends created, and people in service of their community. Highlights include the vibrant scene of Central Avenue through the 1960s with imagery of the rich music scene, stylized depiction of the Central Avenue businesses, as well as an African American man casting a ballot. The Ink Spots, one of the many famous musician groups to light up the night downtown Central Ave at the three major night clubs/restaurants: the Blue Note, the Apollo Theatre Tampa, and the Cotton Club.  Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, the Ink Spots, Clyde McPhatter, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and many other legends performed in these venues. Ray Charles: In a boarding house at 813 Short Emery Street, Ray Charles made his first recording -- "Found My Baby There." Behind him is the famous Jackson House, the boarding house to all these musicians and performers and more during segregation. We don't know what club Hank Ballard and the Midniters performed in when Hank first saw "The Twist" being danced. We do know Hank wrote "The Twist" song after seeing the dance on Central Avenue, which led to Philadelphia's Dick Clark and Chubby Checker coming up with the dance and recording an international hit.  
handmade, sgraffito-carved, wall art tile by Natalie Blake

mural detail

mural install

Onlookers at the unveiling ceremony in Tampa, FL

  Each mural was mortared and grouted to the concrete walls. Nick acid-stained the cement to create a beautiful frame around each mural. handmade, carved, ceramic tile by Natalie Blake   My token woman of the day, still looking for a voting voice,  still serving as pivotal grandmothers, mothers, nannies, sisters, aunties, cousins, wives, holders of all the threads of daily life. She is holding a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie Cake.  
handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic wall art tile by Natalie Blake

mural detail

  Read more about the project and watch a video of the unveiling ceremony on our blog.              
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