The Selection Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Immokalee MSTU; the Chairman of the Immokalee CRA; one at-large representative from the Immokalee Community; one board member of UAC; and the Executive Director of the United Arts Council has presented the top three proposals to the MSTU Board. At a Special Public Meeting on September 9th, the MSTU approved the recommendations below.
Now, it's your turn to participate! Let us know which artist's proposal you want to see as the "Welcome to Immokalee" sign by participating in our community survey.
I have been a resident of lmmokalee for 34 years. Though I was born In Mexico I consider this colorful town my Home. I found myself beside my parents in the fields that surround lmmoklee at 6 years old. I was a laborer picking everything form Oranges, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes in the morning to working in the local Packing houses come afternoon. lmmokalee is where I grew up, where I went to school and where I found my love for many of the things I hold dear today. My husband and I have traveled to several wonderful and beautiful places but driving back home to lmmokalee feels like nothing else on this earth. All the different and lively people, the wonderful foods, smells and colorful building and homes and market never seizes to inspire me and create new artwork. My friends and family are here and so I too have planted my roots in this town. I can only hope that my idea for a mural will bring joy and pride to not only the residents but to all who visit/pass by our town. I wanted to include as many of our town's treasures. Not wanting to make agriculture the only item we are associated with but to not to take it out completely is what I strived for in my design. I attempted to highlight some of the things that the residents of lmmokalee enjoy such as the Pier and football while still keeping the ties to agriculture by using a hand holding a seedling to represent a new beginning. Finally surrounding it with a bit of Tribal colors to honor the native people who where here long before we were.Say something interesting about your business here.
My name is Joe Flores. I am 42 years old, and I was born in Beaufort, South Carolina to Alvaro and Lydia Flores, migrant workers at the time. I am a 4th generation Immokalee resident. My family was a migrant family that lived in Immokalee the majority of the year.
Growing up, I recall seeing my family work in the fields. When I was old enough, I decided to join them on the weekends because I saw how hard they worked to provide for the family, and I wanted to gain that work ethic myself. I quickly learned the value of a dollar.
In 1995, my family moved to Lehigh Acres. Even though we no longer “lived” in Immokalee, my father still worked there in the fields, and we attended school there as well. Our “Immokalee pride” was strong.
I am now married with four children and have moved back to Immokalee since 2008. My wife and I are very involved in our children’s education and frequently volunteer in school and community events. I have contributed my artwork throughout Immokalee, at various schools and at our church.
Immokalee will always be “my home,” and hopefully will always be “my children’s home.” Immokalee, to us, means family, it means unity, it means pride. My art piece identifies just a few of the many aspects that represent “Immokalee, My Home.” The cornucopia, wrapped with the colors that represent some of Immokalee’s residents, the fields, and of course, our very own Lake Trafford.
I moved to Ave Maria in August of 2015. I had visited the area a few times before moving here and it was during one of those visits that a friend of mine said, "Let's drive through lmmokalee. They are really trying hard to rebuild businesses and improve the aesthetics and way of life for the residents of the community." At that time, I didn't know much about lmmokalee, I knew it had a rich Native American history, that it had a casino and had great Mexican food. As we drove around lmmokalee that day, I noticed that this wasn't your typical 'vacation' town in Southwest Florida. I saw a culture and a way of life that was very different than my own. I saw hardworking people carrying watermelons on bicycles, women carrying laundry on their heads, new businesses and old businesses, both groups of people and impoverished groups. It was different than any town I had ever lived in or lived near. ber driving to see it one day and it took my breath away.
It wasn't until we moved here that I gained knowledge' of the community. My family and I found ways to support and offer charity by helping in lmmokalee’s food kitchen, distributing food to lmmokalee residents at their homes, and donating clothes to the Guadalupe Center. When Hurricane Irma hit and devastated the town of lmmokalee, we joined hands with Fellowship Church of lmmokalee (then First Baptist Church lmmokalee). We gathered food, water, clothing, diapers and other essential needs and both handed out supplies and went door-to-door distributing them to those in need. We spoke with members of the church and those seeking assistance during that time and it painted a better picture of what it was like to live and work in this community…
Most of the knowledge that I've gained in reference to lmmokalee is through my own shop, go to church and travel through lmmokalee weekly. I enjoy taking back roads to my destinations. I remember to turn left on Eustis Ave when I see the Immokalee sign. It was 2 days ago that my friend tagged me in a post on Face book about the Call for Artists. I knew I had to give it a try.
I am a freelance graphic design and illustrator. I have made this my career for over 25 years. I have worked in ad agencies, sign shops, corporations, publishing companies and non-profit trade associations. Nothing pleases me more than creating artwork and concepts for people and places that are near and dear to me. I love my community which includes lmmokalee. I am thrilled at the idea of entering a sign design that connects the people of lmmokalee with their rich history and culture.