Kim Straub, right, with artist Carrie Jadus
Art in the City
In 2020, the City partnered with the Temple Terrace Arts Council to commission murals to be installed on the walls at the intersections of Busch Boulevard and 56th Street and Riverhills Drive and 56th. The artwork pays homage to both the City's beauty and its unique history. Partially funded by two of Hillsborough County’s Community Arts Impact grants, the murals are part of an ongoing effort to bring public art to the City.
Resident and Arts Council Vice President of Special Projects Kim Straub spearheaded the project, securing the grant, selecting the artists and supervising, as well as frequently assisting, with the painting or installation of the murals. The Busch Boulevard intersection has an overarching theme of "Moments in Time," and the walls celebrate the City's history with a timeline of influential people in the City's past, a look at the old Florida scenic vistas that still exist along the Hillsborough River, a nod to the golf course around which the City was built and a celebration of the many events that take place throughout the year.
The Riverhills intersection depicts the breathtaking flora and fauna that can be found along the Hillsborough River, including the lotus flower and many species of trees, including Palms, Oaks and Tabebuias, as well as the Temple Orange trees that once gave Temple Terrace the distinction of being the largest orange grove in the world and for which the city is named. (Click on the artists' names at left to read about their work.)
Kim was instrumental in many other efforts to bring art to the community, including orchestrating the painting of a street mural at the intersection of Inverness and Glen Arven Avenues. Designed by local artist Ameena Khan (who also contributed to the wall project), the art was painted directly on the surface of the road by more than 100 resident volunteers. That project also was funded by grants as well as the City and contributions by private citizens. "Taking Art to the Streets" was recognized as "Community Project of the Year" in 2019 by Bike/Walk Tampa Bay.
Kim believed that public art starts conversations that build a feeling of community. “People watch out for each other and develop a common sense of pride in the community and want to keep it a beautiful place,” she told a local newspaper that highlighted the mural project.
Sadly, the City lost Kim to cancer in the summer of 2020. Her legacy lives on the beauty she helped create and the inspiration to ensure that art continues to proliferate in the City.