This mural by Evoca is at 1246 Central Avenue, on the massive wall that faces east, beside a parking lot.
It’s a three-story wall, 30 feet high and 148 feet wide, stretching from Central Avenue to 1st Avenue South. The Tropicana Baseball Field is just across 1st Avenue, towering over the southern horizon.
A very realistic African American girl in overalls sprawls across the wall, with shoulder-length dreadlocks and a serious gaze. She’s leaning on her elbows against a sleeping Doberman on the left, a three-story high dog whose face is strapped into a leather and steel muzzle. Light shines on her face from the left, and glints off the black leather of the dog’s collar.
The Doberman seems dangerous, but sleeping. The girl using him as a pillow isn’t afraid. She wears a light blue T-shirt with big white polka dots. Her overalls are rolled up and the overall strap closest to us is about to slip off her shoulder. Her left knee is bent, so large it’s cut off by the roof. Her right leg is raised up, stretching toward Central Avenue, becoming abstract and disappearing before her shin passes the building’s northern edge.
The girl’s expression is watchful, cautious – as if she’s watching a disturbing scene, but staying calm. Her sense of calm fills the scene, and gives this dusty parking lot an uneasy peacefulness. Across the street, a small square outbuilding is covered with a mural of a cartoon man feeding a cartoon wolf under a table.
Born in the Dominican Republic and based now in Miami, Evoca almost played for the Tampa Bay Rays before injury pushed him from baseball to art. Unlike the many mural artists who use spray paint, he used large brushes, rollers and handmade paint daubers. Painting this striking image across the street from Tropicana Field was powerful for him.
The girl is his sister, the dog was their dog. When Evoca was very young, his parents went through a bitter divorce that tore his family apart. The kids, the pets, all kept getting into trouble.
Evoca’s wife and daughter came to St. Petersburg with him, and waited in the car while he painted. For him, the image means that no matter what happens, you have to keep your family together.
Across the street on Central Avenue is another mural, the giant peacock by Nosego [“noh-SEH-go”].