Artist: Hoxxoh, Photo: by Edel Mohr

Ya La Ford

About Ya La Ford

Based out of: St. Petersburg
Maintaining her studio work in both Tampa Bay and New York, Ya La’Ford is a professor, visual painter, installation artist and muralist, with a MFA from The Art Institute of Boston and a Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Florida for good measure. Her work can be seen across the country from the Boston Public Library to the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.

About the Mural

As of October 2018, this work is no longer visible.
Due to damage from graffiti, the artist painted over it. The new mural is here.

The Sunnel, by St. Petersburg artist Ya La’Ford, covers the inside walls and ceiling of the pedestrian tunnel between Central Avenue and First Avenue South.

The northern entrance is on Central, down a sidewalk on the south side of the street between 13th and 15th Streets North. The entrance is marked by rows of low, white posts and a sign pointing the way to Tropicana Field.

The Sunnel is an underground tunnel, 90 feet long, a wide horizontal rectangular opening that takes you underneath busy 1st Avenue South, to Tropicana Field – so the Sunnel is a popular way to get to Rays baseball games.

The mural covers the interior of the tunnel, and spreads out across the north and south entrances. The background is a rich royal blue, the color of the Rays’ uniforms. Against the blue are geometric patterns made of thin lines of pale light blue. The patterns are Ya La’Ford’s signature image – recognizable around St. Petersburg, including the walls of a museum, a library, a downtown hotel and the Morean Arts Center.

On the southwest corner of the Sunnel, wrapping from the exterior wall into the tunnel, is a round sun made of angular patterns, like a maze. The lines that form the sun cross and interconnect, and contain patterns within patterns.

Two thick rays from that sun shoot outside, at the southern entrance. Four long rays spread across the tunnel wall, all the way to the north entrance.

Another, smaller sun is painted in the northeast corner. Hollow triangular shapes fall out of this circle, with lines that are broken and wandering.

Lines from the suns on either side flow across the floor and ceiling.
Lines of thin blue L-E-D lights cross the ceiling.

They serve to light the tunnel when it’s dark outside, and enhance the blue of the mural.

It’s possible to start from either end of the tunnel and trace the patterns and rays all the way to the other end of the tunnel, and out along the entrance wall.

On the west side of the the north entrance, the artist’s name is painted in wide dark brown capital letters.

Ya La’Ford said she aims to change the notion of what art-making means by pulling art off the canvas. For her, the Sunnel is “transformative, so as opposed to becoming a piece on the wall, it becomes something that you actually can immerse into.”

“It’s activated by you, my viewer,” she explains. “You become then the heartbeat, the pulse of my artwork.”

Title: Sunnel

Address: 1399 Central Ave.

Building: The Rays Tunnel

Installation Date: 2015

Artist Jones2023

Rhys Meatyard2023

Greater Public Studio2023

Andrea Wan2023

The Happy Mural Project2023

Kelly Quinn2023

Bunnie Reiss2023


Chris Dyer2023

Max Sansing2023

Dave Bonzai2023


Michael Vasquez2023

Chenlin Cai / 蔡陈林2023

Loretta Lizzio2023

Sarah Sheppard2023

Bryan Beyung & James Lee Chiahan2023

Hannah Eddy2023

James Bullough2022


Ben Johnston2022


Marina Capdevila2022


Reginald O'Neal 2022

Van Der Luc2022

Jeff Williams2022

Dream Weaver2022

Sydney Prusso2022

Ashley Cantero2022

Egypt Hagan2022



Nneka Jones2022

Amy Ilic-Volpe2022

Jason Harvin2022

Vitale Bros2022

Chad Mize2022

The Happy Mural Project2022

Greg Mike2021

Mwanel Pierre-Louis2021

Jenipher Chandley2021

Case Maclaim2021

Jared Wright2021

Bakpak Durden2021

Nicole Salgar2021

Ricky Watts2021


Woes Martin2021

Jason Harvin2021

Miss Crit2021

Michael Fatutoa2021

Emily Ding2021

Reid Jenkins2021

Aurailieus Artist2021


Leo Gomez2021

Ya La'Ford2021


Chad Mize 2021

Brain Storm2020

Brian Butler2020

Lili Yuan2020

Happy Mural Project2020


Tatiana Suarez2020

Elle LeBlanc2020

Mason Schwacke2020

Alex Yanes2020

Kenny Coil and Marc Berenguer2020

Nneka Jones and Bianca Burrows2020


Cecilia Lueza2019

George Rose2019

Morning Breath2019

Vitale Brothers2019

Cory Robinson-CLEAN Campaign2019


Taylor White2019


Princess Smith2019

Brian McAlister, Gibbs High Mural Club and Boys & Girls Club Members2019

JR-Inside Out2019

Paola Delfin2019

Jimmy Breen and Anthony Freese2019

Drew Merritt2019

Low Bros2019

Jay Hoff2019

Taj Tenfold2019

Leo Gomez2019


Blaine Fontana and Plastic Birdie2019

David Charlton2019

Todd Frain and Creative Clay2019

Haider Ali2018

Ya La Ford2018

Gibbs Rounsavall2018

Angela Faustina2018

Bekky Beukes2018

LOOK The Weird2018


Melanie Posner2018


J and S Signs2018

Sarah Page2018

Nomad Clan2018


Cecilia Lueza2018

Matt Kress2018

Michael Vahl2018

Noirs One2018


Justin Wagher2018


Matthew Hoffman2018


Joram Roukes2017

Jose Mertz2017

Stephen Palladino2017

Yok and Shero2017

Herbert Scott Davis2017


Lauren YS2017

Mikael B2017

ZuluPainter and Thirst2017

Axel Void and L.E.O.2017

Suarez Art2017


Daniel "R5" Barojas2017

Sam Yong2017

Ali Vasquez and Todd Frain2016

Angela Delaplane2016


Arlin Graff2016

Pep Rally Inc.-The CLEAN Campaign2016

Daniel Mrgan2016

Pixel Pancho2016

Michael Reeder2016

Alex Pardee2016

Cecilia Lueza2016





Dasic Fernandez2016


Mark Gmehling2016

Ya La Ford2016

Ink Werkz Crew2016

Andrew Spear2015

Chad Mize, James Oleson and Pinellas County Center for the Arts2015

Erik Jones2015



Michael Vasquez2015

Shark Toof2015

Morning Breath2015

Ricky Watts2015


Carrie Jadus2015


Greg Mike2015

Tes One and Palehorse2015


Ya La Ford2015

Carrie Jadus2015

Vitale Brothers2015

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