Colorful murals brighten up Holmes Beach
SUN PHOTOS/PAT COPELAND
From left, Joel Cocciolone and Chad "Cheeta" Ruis
in front of their mural by the skate park.
HOLMES BEACH – A non descript wall on the city’s newest comfort station by the skate park has become an explosion of color thanks to two local artists – Joel Cocciolone and Chad “Cheeta” Ruis.
The pair began their collaboration the morning of Oct. 23 to coincide with the School’s Back Grom Skate Competition, said organizer Mark Boltwood, of Six Third Productions, which promotes art and entertainment in the area.
“They started at 10 a.m. so they could have it in progress during the skate competition,” Boltwood explained. “Bands were playing and the kids were doing their runs behind them.”
“We like to tie in to live events so people can see art going on around them. It’s makes it more meaningful.”
“We’re bringing art out and it inspires others, Ruis said.
“And gets them involved,” Cocciolone added. “There’s awesome energy.”
The inspiration for the piece was the Island lifestyle said Cocciolone.
“We decided to do something totally Island – the feeling, the bright colors,” he said. “We talked about what we wanted to accomplish and then sketched it out. We took what we’re known for and combined our styles. I knew it would work well.”
“It’s like free style,” Ruis added. “You start with a plan then it becomes spontaneous.”
Sponsors of the mural were Bob Ferrara, Waste Management and Keeton’s Office and Art Supply.
The other side
Cocciolone also painted a mural on the side of the comfort station facing the field during the Real Florida Festival/Founder’s Day event held in the spring. It is another explosion of color featuring a skater, a surfer and the Island trolley.
For that event, Boltwood organized a Grom Skate Contest and the proceeds from the registration were donated to the Island trolley because all three believe strongly in keeping the free trolley.
Cocciolone said he grew up around art and was inspired to become an artist by his mother, an art teacher at Bayshore High School. He said he and Ruis have collaborated on other pieces, and he is always learning from other artists around him.
Ruis studied art and graphic design in Tampa and worked in a graphic design business for 15 years. He said last year, he began to pursue his art and get involved in local art events.
Both do commissions and can be contacted on Facebook as Joel Cocciolone and Cheeta art or through firstname.lastname@example.org.