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Carrie Jadus paints Grand Central beer garden with music

Bill DeYoung



Artist Carrie Jadus and "Last Call." Photo: Bill DeYoung

Down at the western edge of the beer garden behind the Grand Central Brewhouse, six legendary musical figures are huddled together, enjoying a cold one.

You won’t need to crane your neck to steal a look. They’re pretty hard to miss.

St. Pete artist Carrie Jadus has painted the scene on the entire 50×30 concrete wall. The figures of Bob Marley, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Eddie Vedder and John Legend loom over the soon-to open facility, owned and operated by insurance industry veteran and philanthropist Kevin Milkey.

These are big-headed rock stars. Their heads, in fact, average eight feet from chin to crown.

Jadus was commissioned by Milkey and his team to create the mural for Grand Central, which he built on the site of the long-gone Taco Bus restaurant.

“I guess the Taco Bus had a lot of music records all over the walls, of different artists,” Jadus explained “And he’s a huge music fan. So he picked these musical artists because they’re all extremely talented and socially conscious – but everybody’s got their own foundations, and trying to help the world out a little bit.”

The beer garden, which will also include a bocce ball court and an outdoor movie screen (Jadus is painting that, and its backgrounds, on the east wall) is a centerpiece of Milkey’s two-story, 10,270-square-foot microbrewery and restaurant, expected to open before the end of the year.

An olive tree – like the peace-loving musical icons, a symbol of unification and compassion – has been planted in the center.

For Jadus, this particular commission began with a scavenger hunt.

“I searched through a million photos of all these people and tried to make it look like they were interacting,” she explained. “That was probably the hardest part about this thing, trying to find something where they all look like they’re engaging.” Jadus’ husband, sculptor Mark Aeling, was the “hand model” for the men in the painting.

Of course, the lighting – on the faces, the bodies and the beer glasses – had to match.

The mural, which took the artist three weeks from start to finish, is titled “Last Call.”

Artist Jabari Reed-Diop, known professionally as iBOMS, is part of the 2020 SHINE Mural Festival. He’s creating a mural on the topic of algae blooms – a serious threat to the world’s oceans – on the outer wall of the Grand Central Brewhouse (literally on the other side of Jadus’ beer garden mural). Photo by Bill DeYoung

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Will Michaels

    Will Michaels

    November 10, 2020at10:19 pm

    Another fantastic contribution by a fantastic community artist to the St. Pete art landscape!

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