Shoppers in line to check out at Lakeland’s new GreenWise Market, which opens Thursday, will get to ponder an intricate mural showing a cross section of local architecture and people doing interesting things.

The 8-foot-square mural titled “Lakeland on the Move” has a highly visible perch near the front of the new organics/specialty foods market at 4747 S. Florida Ave.; murals are one way that parent company Publix Super Markets gives each GreenWise a local flavor.

Local flavor is also added, literally, through use of local vendors, which we wrote about here. A couple of local vendors that weren’t included in our earlier roundup are:

  • Born & Bread Bakehouse, whose croissants, sourdough bread and granola will be available on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Patriot Coffee Roasters, whose Guatemala and Colombia roasts will be the daily drip coffees available at the beverage bar near the front of the store.
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The mural was a collaboration between commercial artist Bump Galletta and book author/illustrator Fred Koehler. Both had been asked to submit work samples for the project, and they realized right away that a collaboration was on tap when they both showed up for a meeting with Publix executives at Mitchell’s Coffee House, Koehler said.

Both artists will be at GreenWise when it opens at 7 a.m. Thursday, and about 100 signed prints of their mural will be given to people who arrive early. In addition, Born & Bread’s Jennifer Smurr will be demonstrating her sourdough bread.

Murals at GreenWise stores are a nod to the tile and painted mosaics found at mid-century Publix stores, Koehler said, and this one is an attempt to show multiple facets of life in Lakeland in a single image.

“It shows active, fun-loving and diverse people,” he said. “It’s our diversity that makes us stronger and helps us learn from one another and creates a flavorful community.”

Galletta, left, and Koehler in front of their mural. (Provided by Bump Galletta)

Each artist played to their strengths, with Galletta showcasing Lakeland’s architecture and Koehler highlighting active people.

Koehler started by taking hundreds of photos of people engaged in different activities around town. While most of the people pictured are people he doesn’t know, Koehler tossed in a handful of friends and acquaintances — including himself.

The mural includes an image of Koehler tossing a football to his son, Jack, and a portrait of Galletta with his wife and two children.

The artists worked separately, Galletta drawing free-hand and Koehler creating his art on an iPad. Then they got together to merge several hundred individual images into a single piece of art, using Adobe Illustrator.

The artists chose the theme “Lakeland on the Move” because “Lakeland is such an active community and there’s so much opportunity for families and individuals to do fun, active stuff,” Koehler said. “Plus it aligns with the GreenWise brand.”

Koehler said Publix paid the artists “one of the nicest compliments:” While the work is owned by Publix, the artists were given the right to sell prints of the image.

So expect to see them in the near future at local retailers who sell Lakeland-specific goods.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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