The murals depict the multicultural history of the Ocala community. Guests viewing the murals are treated to two very different scenes depending on which side they stand. While one side depicts the Cuban culture that thrived in the 1890s, the opposite side showcases the City’s Black and Black Seminole history. Both sets of panels are inspired by local historical photographs.
The double-sided panels feature two separate mural exhibits, A Journey Through Marti City by Maggie Weakley and Glimpses into the History of Marion County’s Black Culture by Jordan Shapot.
Title: Legacy Panels (A Journey Through Marti City and Glimpses into the History of Marion County's Black Culture)
Dimensions: 8’ H x 4’ W each
Maggie Weakley’s Artist Statement:
Creating the Marti City Murals was a great honor for me since my family is Cuban. Learning about the great Cuban history that was right here in Ocala was not only surprising but also fascinating for me, and I ended up doing a ton of research to know everything I could about this period of time.
The 4 murals represent, what I felt, were the most important parts of Marty City. The Cubans working the tobacco fields, the factory workers rolling the cigars, the moment when Jose Marti visited the cigar factories, and the only photo known to exist of a street in Marti City.
As a Cuban-American, it is truly an honor to be the one who created these 4 murals that represent a short period of time when Cuban cigar makers and at least 13 “factories” between 1890 and 1907 thrived in Ocala. It is a part of our history that is not well known and my hope is that these murals will spark the curiously of the viewer to learn more about this historical period in our community.
About the Artist | Maggie Weakley:
Maggie graduated for the Columbus College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration. Her career began as an Art Director for Shoebox Greetings, Hallmark Cards, inc., in Kansas City Missouri. In 2015, Maggie started MaggiesAngels.com, and a collection of Pet Portraits was born. She has created commissions for people around the world, with more than 500 pet portraits in her collection, and more than 15 years creating paintings with animals. In 2017 Maggie decided to play around with a different subject matter and the “water collection” was born. She absolutely loves working with Fluid Acrylics and Resin creating collections that range from paintings to houseware products and to even jewelry.
Maggie loves giving back to her community and is often participating in charitable events, local art shows, teaching and donating to her favorite non-profit organizations.
She lives in Ocala, Florida with her husband Kent, he super cute Chihuahuas- Coco & Mio, and a rowdy group of Goldfish. She is the very proud mom of her two sons Lucas and Max.
Jordan Shapot’s Artist Statement:
These four mural panels each depict a different moment in Marion County's Black history. Rather than painting images of historic cultural figures or milestones, I chose to show
a glimpse into the typical experiences of everyday people within the local Black community. In doing this, I hope to better convey certain meaningful ideas such as hard work, community interaction, cultural symbiosis, and recreation. Studying history provides
insight into other cultures which thereby increases cross-cultural awareness and understanding. By understanding the past, we can better interpret the present and improve our tomorrows.
About the Artist | Jordan Shapot:
Jordan Shapot is a professional artist from Crystal River, Florida. He started creating at a young age and graduated high school from the Lecanto School of Art. Shapot went on to study and earn a BFA in illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design. Now primarily a painter, he likes to focus on creating controlled chaos all while focusing on the raw emotion and essence of the subject matter. He often uses bold brushstrokes and powerful color combinations to shape his compositions. Shapot is currently working and living in Citrus County, Florida. He is represented at various art galleries around Florida, participates in many art shows and festivals throughout the year, and has won multiple prestigious art awards.
Declaración del artista:
Estos cuatro paneles murales representan un momento diferente en la historia de personas con la raza negra del condado de Marion. En lugar de pintar imágenes de figuras culturales históricas o hitos, elegí echar un vistazo a las experiencias típicas de la gente común en la comunidad local de la raza negra. Al hacer esto, espero transmitir ciertas ideas significativas como el trabajo duro, la interacción comunitaria, la simbiosis cultural y la recreación. Estudiar historia previene la percepción de información sobre otras culturas, lo que aumenta la conciencia y la comprensión intercultural. Al comprender el pasado, podemos interpretar mejor el presente y mejorar nuestro mañana.
Sobre el artista:
Jordan Shapot es un artista profesional de Crystal River, Florida. Comenzó a crear a una edad temprana y se graduó de la escuela secundaria de Lecanto School of Art. Shapot estudió y obtuvo su licenciatura de bellas artes en Savannah College of Art and Design. Ahora, principalmente pintor, le gusta enfocarse en crear un caos controlado, todo mientras se enfoca en la emoción cruda y la esencia del tema. A menudo usa pinceladas audaces y poderosas combinaciones de colores para dar forma a sus composiciones. Shapot actualmente trabaja y vive en el condado de Citrus, Florida. Está representado en varias galerías de arte de la Florida, participa en muchas exposiciones de arte y festivales durante todo el año, y ha ganado varios prestigiosos premios de arte.