MELBOURNE, FLA. — The iconic mural commissioned by Florida Tech in 2016 that brought swirling colors and a sleek panther to Historic Downtown Melbourne will undergo renovations and repairs, the university and artist Christopher Maslow announced today.
The process is scheduled to start the week of April 18 and will take about two weeks.
Over the last six months or so, the 90-foot-long mural on the western wall of the building at 800 E. New Haven Ave. at Waverly Place sustained a patch of damage where it appears the wall fell away. Colors elsewhere have faded.
“We don’t want to deviate from the design,” Maslow said. “We just want to make it look fresh, bring the colors back to vibrant life.”
Vibrant life is what the mural, and other public art, help stimulate in downtown Melbourne, noted Sherri Whelan. Whelan’s Tallulah 9 boutique has occupied 800 E. New Haven Ave. since 2017.
“I think it enhances these older buildings, and I love all of the students coming down and taking pictures,” she said.
Another connection: Whelan’s husband Terry Whelan ’89 is a Florida Tech alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting at the university located just a few minutes from their shop. “We’ve always loved the mural because my husband is a graduate of Florida Tech,” Whelan added.
The mural is named after Florida Tech’s motto, “Ad Astra Per Scientiam,” which means “To the stars through science.” It depicts a panther – Florida Tech’s mascot – strolling through environs of land, sea and stars, capturing the university’s STEM focus and its past, present and future. Within the mural are several “Easter eggs” – hidden nods to Florida Tech – that Maslow painted into the image.
In conjunction with the renovation, Florida Tech is seeking suggestions for new Easter eggs to join images alluding to the crew team, Pete the Panther, the university’s founding year and more. Visit Florida Tech on Facebook or Instagram to offer your suggestions. The university will then collaborate with Maslow to select up to 10 to add to the mural.
An internationally renowned artist, Maslow has painted murals all over the world. Most recognized for his multistory public works and his fine-art paintings, Maslow expresses a deep artistic narrative and stylish relevance among today’s modern art movement. A diverse painter at heart, he blends a variety of artistic mediums and practices into his work: abstract, realism, graffiti, and ethereal surrealism mark some of the many methods that make up Maslow’s paintings. A natural collaborator, Maslow works closely with non-profits, collectors, brands and corporations to create unique, custom-tailored projects. He has worked with a wide variety of clients such as NASA, SpaceX and Florida Tech.