Kristi Paints Sanford
You may or may not have known that last year the City of Sanford held an artist call in hopes to find the perfect artist to create a mural at Sanford’s City Hall. You read that correct, a mural in Sanford!! Not only was Kristi Hamby hand picked by the city, she has completely finished her piece and has wowed everyone with her beautifully colored mural that can now be seen along the wall of the entrance of Sanford’s City Hall. I was lucky enough to meet up with Kristi and simply walk across the street and plop down on a bench facing Lake Monroe and chat with her about those brightly colored orange and lemon slices and beautiful blue waves that now take up the once gray wall.
Kristi made the move from Gainesville to Florida about 5 years ago in hopes to further her career as an aesthetician. What she didn’t have hopes for was becoming the artist she is today. Although she admits to always doodling or creating paintings on canvases, she never really saw art as a career until she simply needed a change in her life. Being an aesthetician no longer was something that brought her happiness, she was feeling burnt out and in search of something new, and painting became a way to bring color back into her life. She began to paint more regularly and sold her paintings at local markets on the side as she worked a few odd jobs. Until Thornton Park put out an artist call for their Only Rain Down the Drain campaign, a city wide project used to bring awareness and attention to those who walk by those mundane drains and to get people thinking about the water that flows directly through those storm drains and then out into local lakes, ponds and rivers. Kristi didn’t think much upon entering, but not only was she chosen, she was chosen to paint 4 (!) storm drains all on the intersection of Eola Drive and Pine Street. The project went on to win the Golden Brick Award and also gave its artist some major attention.
Thornton Park went on to hire Kristi to do 8 more storm drains! Wowza. This is where Kristi truly began to see the potential in her natural talent and simply began to fall in love with painting outdoors and within her community. She began meeting other local artists and creating connections within the community, as well as landing more jobs.
Thornton Park hired Kristi yet again, along with several other local artists to create murals in their parking garage. There Kristi painted her first mural and, soon after, saw the artist call that the City of Sanford put out. Just two weeks before the deadline Kristi studied Sanford by taking walks around the city and studying its history – and submitted a proposal. The rest is history!
Kristi worked on the Sanford mural for 3 weeks. First snapping a photo of the blank wall and then placing the image to scale on her i-Pad, she began playing with colors and drawing water, trees, oranges, celery and other things that had both a Sanford and Florida meaning behind them. Once she completed the rendering she was able to use a projector to project her art piece on the large wall and outlined everything in a light gray paint before filling everything in with color. The result is a colorful mix of Florida and Sanford which tells a story of the past and today. Kristi admits that she’s sad the project is over, she loved coming to Sanford every day and painting during the day by Lake Monroe. She is so grateful that the City of Sanford gave her this opportunity – and for embracing public art. Her hope is to see more public art around Sanford and other cities, as well as seeing (and working with) other talented women such as herself creating beautiful pieces of art to share with everyone.
If you’d like to follow Kristi on her art journey, you can find her on Instagram @kristipaintsorlando be sure to snap a selfie in front of her newest creation and tag her, so she feels the Sanford LOVE!