Project Description

October 26, 2020 | By Shae Vehorn

The Happy Mural Project

Spreading Joy Through Art

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Artists Branden Everly and Alyssa Marie, with a volunteer muralist

We could all use a little extra happiness right now and The Happy Mural Project aims to bring exactly that.

The Happy Mural Project is a collaborative effort of St. Petersburg couple and artists Alyssa Marie and Braden Everly. The project’s mission is to inspire and uplift people and communities through supersized, vibrantly colored murals depicting sunflowers that adorn the walls of local buildings. That is their remedy for the blues caused by the pandemic.

And now they want to include the community in creating the outsized artwork. Their newest mural project is at the St. Petersburg City Theatre and volunteers are needed to help paint colorful flowers on the wall of the building at 4025 31st St. S. from October 31 through November 6, as an early start to the SHINE Mural Festival.

“Happiness is needed right now, as always,” Braden Everly says. “With everything going on in the world, people have flocked to our walls.”

The Everlys painted their first mural project at Lolita’s Catering + Events at 2735 5th Ave N. and 28th St. during early March. While painting their sunflower mural, they propped up a sign reading “Honk if You’re Happy,” encouraging positive interaction from passersby while practicing physical distancing.

Alyssa Marie is a fine artist from Colorado who has lived in St. Petersburg since 2017. In 2018, she opened the Alyssa Marie Gallery formerly on Beach Drive NE downtown where she exhibited her works. The gallery closed in January, and she is now selling her paintings of local and nature scenes on her website.

Braden is an educator with a degree in special education. Long before migrating from Colorado to St. Petersburg with Alyssa, he was painting on walls as a house painter in the summer. Alyssa’s love of art ignited sparks with Braden’s experience with paint, ladders and scaffolding. The Happy Mural Project is the result of their combined passion.

“Alyssa believes that anyone can do art,” says Braden. “We wanted to bring the community together in an activity where everyone can help beautify the city.”

This mural will feature hands holding giant sunflowers to represent “unique excellence from many different races, colors, national origins, sexual orientations and everything that makes us beautiful,” and as a symbol of love, connectedness and growth.

The Happy Mural Project’s Hands of Change mural

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Braden Everly at the Hands of Change mural

For anyone who wishes to help paint the mural at St. Pete City Theatre, there is a Volunteer Artist sign-up form on The Happy Mural Project’s website. Painting supplies will be provided and no experience is needed.

Due to COVID-19, the St. Petersburg City Theatre has faced new challenges in its mission to bring productions and educational experiences to the community. The volunteer-driven theater has implemented physically distanced seating for their productions, and successfully held a summer camp using health and safety precautions amid the pandemic.

The St. Petersburg City Theatre will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2021. Their next Little Theatre production is Broadway By Request, November 13-15 and the next mainstage show is A Christmas Carol, December 4-13. You can find out more at spcitytheatre.org.

Find out more about the Happy Mural Project,
sign up to volunteer or suggest a business or home wall to paint at
thehappymuralproject.com