Genii Loci

USA, Florida ,2018

The current situation also involves opportunities for our cities and makes us rethink the purpose of streets. Street art and paintings is one way to repurpose streets for art and as a public space for the local community. In 2018, artist Steed Taylor created the largest continuous ‘road tattoo’ in the world in Downtown West Palm Beach in Florida, running over a mile along Rosemary Avenue.
It is called Genii Loci, which means ‘the protective spirits of a place’ in Latin.` Keeping with this idea, it takes different forms of local native flora, interweaving three-color Celtic knots emphasizing the power of community, and music notations in honor of the Sunset Lounge in the Northwest District, the city’s historic jazz venue, where in the 1940s and 1950s people came together to watch famous artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Amstrong, but gradually declined over the years. Among with the redevelopment of this site, this project aims to reimagine the city.
The socially engaging art brought people together by inviting community members to paint parts of the mural. It is projected to last three years, before the painting will eventually fade.
In the artist’s words: “If roads are considered the skin of a community, then a road has a similar relationship to the public body as skin does to the private body.“
What do you think of this installation? What other purposes can you imagine for streets?

Photo credits: CLADnews, Gyorgy Papp Photography (via Gehl), Danny Rodriguez (via WPB Magazine)

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