According to local artist Mike Knapp, "there is beauty everywhere...if you look for it." He adds, "Many of the everyday things we pass by in our busy lives go unobserved. I see my job as an artist to bring them to the forefront, to make us see what we have previously missed. To appreciate the unappreciated."
Knapp frequently paints seemingly unconnected items and mixes them in various ways, oftentimes to make a statement. "I explore the common elements that are shared by the objects while introducing tension with my choice of colors and textures," he explains.
Knapp's paintings are large by design, each canvas typically measuring 3x4 feet. "My objective is to meld myself with my subject matter," he says. "I want those who see the objects I paint to immediately think of my art. Once a viewer begins to see oddly paired common objects in everyday life and thinks...that reminds me of Mike Knapp's art...then I have been successful."
A Piece of Our History
What comes to mind when you think of Florida? The most common answer is oranges. Oranges are especially an important part of Temple Terrace's history. In the 1920s, Temple Terrace was the site of the world's largest orange grove. The Temple oranges were brought over from a Jamaican seedling. The origin of the second half of the name is portrayed in this painting as well. The city became famous for the rolling terraces covered by cypress trees. The left side of the mural includes the knees of the cypress trees – a unique root system that contributes to the beautiful scenery around the Hillsborough River.