By Teresa Martínez
Murals have existed since the dawn of humanity, when the first humans created paintings on cave walls. Since then, murals have been observed in classical architecture and are considered a dominant form of public art. We see more and more murals adorning our cities. Among the many muralists to whom we are grateful for beautifying Central Florida, is the talented Gillian C. Fazio. She is responsible for numerous murals in Polk County, and the muralist in charge of the beautiful wall at Central Florida Visitor's Center in Davenport, our tourism and entertainment information center, and one of the main sponsors of Viva Polk.
Gillian grew up in Lakeland, Florida and discovered her love for the arts the minute she grabbed her first brush. She began her artistic career at the Rochelle School of the Arts. After attending Harrison Center and Lakeland High School, she graduated from the University of Florida, majoring in Fine Arts and returned home in 2017. Gillian began to explore large-scale paintings while studying at the university and found the transition to murals attractive. She painted an extensive floral wall at Lincoln Avenue Elementary which earned her a commission for a mural on the ceiling at Lakeland Regional Health, Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children. Since then, Gillian has embellished Central Florida with over 40 murals distributed throughout several cities.
Her work focuses on the soul and spirit of flora and fauna juxtaposed with human culture, observing how they work together on the same pictorial plane. These unique and colorful compositions are made by combining photographic images. Together with your customers, they adjust them to finally find find the ideal landscape. Her works are mainly commissioned by government agencies and private businesses that seek to beautify their walls and attract public attention. This young and enthusiastic muralist is passionate about her work and smiles when she describes it, "The murals are bright and beautiful and not a simple wall. I love them because it is a form of public art that unites communities and makes everyone feel like the owner of each mural. They become a place to visit. Tourists come to take photos that remain as a memory of the cities they visited," she said. "My dream is to work for national brands and continue to travel painting murals. I want to keep growing and learning with each mural. I would love to be part of urban festivals like Shine On St. Pete or Wynwood walls."
Gillian Fazio is a local pride who has gained national attention. In September 2022, the Congressional Club Museum and Foundation, commissioned her to paint the official work for the First Lady's Luncheon, Dr. Jill Biden. One of the most historic events in Washington DC. Her work hangs at the White House. If you don't know what to do this weekend with your family or friends, how about an excursion in search of the beautiful murals through the cities of our county? Whether to admire them, take "selfies" for your Instagram or other social platforms, or to simply take family photos and create beautiful memories; Gillian Fazio's murals provide beautiful and colorful backgrounds. For more information, visit: GFazioart.com