Nicole Holderbaum Finishes Mural for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 25th Anniversary at TIAA Bank Field
Two words you won’t typically find in the same sentence: art, and football. Currently in Jacksonville however, these two words will be growing in frequency and sharing the same playing field and our local sense of pride is going to expand right alongside them. I’m talking about the mural projects taking place with the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, have you heard yet?
Every night of the week there is an art opening in one corner of town or another, and large-scale public art projects are appearing on every other block of our urban core. The importance of public art has become increasingly obvious and tended to over the past few years in Jacksonville, and it should be. Public art creates a sense of social connectivity and what is one of the most common places we Jacksonvillians gather in a massive social setting… the Jaguar games! There is no denying the die-hard support Jaguars fans display whether at the actual stadium, tailgating in the parking lot, or cheering at a television set in a neighbor’s garage. Our local football game is strong with a public art game to match.
This season you will have even more reason to make the trek to TIAA Bank Field. Not only will you be supporting and celebrating our local football team, you will also have the privilege of supporting our local artists. The newest mural is being painted by one of the most active, involved, hard-working, and deserving local artists that Jacksonville has right now, Nico (Nicole) Holderbaum. She plans to have the mural completed before the regular season begins. If you’ve ever been to a Downtown Art Walk, one of the local art and music festivals, taken your kids to One Spark, or driven down pretty much any road in Jacksonville, it is highly likely that you have encountered either Nico herself or one of her jaw-dropping murals.
When I say she wears many hats around town, just wait for it: Holderbaum, 28, is responsible for the Kids Mural Project which functions as a mobile large-scale coloring book style mural event in which children of all ages are invited to participate. She has painted over 30 murals at Duval County Public School elementary, middle, and high schools with hundreds of students and volunteers. Holderbaum is the sole creator of the We Rise Movement which connects the youth of Jacksonville to pro-peace art and music projects. We Rise strives to uplift and unite young people who might otherwise not have connected. She has solely created and executed the largest and most successful annual art and skateboard event, Color Me Kona, which generates funding and book drives for children in underserved areas of town. She recently started a female troupe of artists, performers, and musicians called the Duval Gems. It is beyond cool that her work will now be memorialized in such a highly-trafficked location in honor of our equally hard-working football team!
This is the Jaguars’ 25th season if you haven’t noticed the new logo on this year’s football swag yet. Holderbaum’s mural is the second in a series of four and will be positioned at the west entrance to the field. Each corner of the stadium is set to have a new mural commemorating this quarter of a century celebration funded by a partnership between Axalta and the Jaguars, and each one will be created by a local Jacksonville artist. This past December, local legend Shaun Thurston completed the first piece that reads ‘DUUUVAL’ overlapped with our iconic downtown skyline and the portrait of a jaguar at the entrance of the main concourse. Holderbaum is ecstatic to be following his lead.
“One of Jacksonville’s best artists and muralists, Shaun Thurston, did the first mural of this mural project at the Jags’ stadium last year. It’s an honor for me to be included in this project alongside his work as he is someone that I have been inspired by and look up to.”
When asked what her design is going to entail, she remained alluringly vague, keeping me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. “Of course, I’ll be incorporating plant life, which is my favorite. The rest has to be a secret for now, but the word ‘fierce’ is what really comes to mind when I think of the design.” Thankfully we won’t have to wait too long to find out though because by mid-August her conception will be unveiled for us to relish.
So, whether you’re the type who veers more towards the word football, or the type who more often uses the word art, we all have a collective reason to visit the Jaguar’s football stadium this season. Post to Post Links II error: No link found for term slug "feud-sports", support local artists, connect with other locals over the power that both public art and sportsmanship elicit, and celebrate this 25th season together, as a community!
Completed Mural Reveal