Overcast, 57°
Weather sponsored by:

Orange Park Florist and Gifts rejoice at colorful mural at shop

Project completed after two years of planning

Posted 11/22/23

ORANGE PARK – Thanks to the creative hands of two dedicated and talented local artists, Sophie Dentiste and Kathy Plante, the Orange Park Florist and Gifts shop has a colorful new look.

At …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Orange Park Florist and Gifts rejoice at colorful mural at shop

Project completed after two years of planning


Posted

ORANGE PARK – Thanks to the creative hands of two dedicated and talented local artists, Sophie Dentiste and Kathy Plante, the Orange Park Florist and Gifts shop has a colorful new look.

At the shop’s back entrance is a towering masterpiece of a mural that stretches over the shop’s back door. The work features sunflowers, a monarch butterfly and an array of purple, red, orange and light blue flowers against a dark blue background backdrop, similar to the mural on the town water tank in 2021.

Facilitated by the Town Art Guild, the project highlights the exciting future for the arts.

Owner Carol Berg said in the past, the florist shop has tried to create other welcoming “arrangements” at her entrance, where 70% of her customers walk in.

“We’ve tried using plants and other elements to welcome people, but a mural is a bigger statement, and most people love it,” she said.

The project is the culmination of an exhausting two-year journey for Berg, who has faced several hurdles.

“I had one person lined up to do it two years ago, and they dropped out. Then, we had another (individual) lined up, and they (canceled), too,” Berg said.

The reasons were numerous. The first artists left for college. The timing wasn’t right for the second person. Weather also created further delays.

The mural is finally complete, all thanks to the art guild.

“Finally, it was perfect, and (Dentiste and Plante) from the Art Guild of Orange Park stepped up and did a wonderful job,” she said.

Work on the project broke ground on Nov. 6 and was completed four days later. Plante used traditional paintbrushes, abandoning any use of spray paint or commercial paint cans. The dynamic duo even mixed their paint, creating a unique color palette.

Dentiste and Plante met challenges like working through warm temperatures, putting together and taking down scaffolding and staying careful while working high up in the air. The project was also redesigned to go around the awning for cost purposes.

“It was just a fun and interesting (challenge) considering how hot it was in November. But we worked like a well-oiled team. We play to each other’s strengths,” Plante said.

There were obstacles along the way, but Berg gave the artists few restrictions regarding creativity. Both artists are excited about the mural’s completion and what it could mean for the future of local art.

“This is one more thing that is beautiful to the town and a nice attraction for people coming through the area. This is something that people are going to be talking about for a long time,” Dentiste said. “It’s just exciting for both of us to have this painting on the wall. It’s gratifying that (Orange Park Florist) chose to support local artists and public art. It beautifies the town,” Plante said.

Dentiste and Plante are members of the art guild. They have considerable experience and have worked together on multiple projects.

Dentiste earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Georgia and previously owned an art business in Ponte Vedra Beach, where her work captured exotic gardens, foliage and wildlife aesthetics. She designed the St. Micheal’s memorial mural in Green Cove Springs and helped work on the 40-foot natural mural wall with a 52-item scavenger hunt across the street and several other projects.