Photo: Wellen Park
Ivan Roque’s mural of birds, blooms and butterflies greet motorists and pedestrians at Downtown Wellen’s gateway along Wellen Park Boulevard.
Wellen Park debuts large-scale murals that illustrate Downtown Wellen's colorful social scene and natural experiences
VENICE, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2023) – Great blue herons and colorful flowers loom larger than life along the walls of Downtown Wellen’s newest buildings while a whimsical woman in an innertube and fish the color of sunshine play in the frothy waters. Local artist Laura Pommier and Miami muralist Ivan Roque have completed painting large-scale murals in Downtown Wellen, the central hub and social gathering destination in Wellen Park.
“These murals really capture the joyful flair and vibrant, high-energy atmosphere that was envisioned for Downtown Wellen,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing at Wellen Park. “Laura and Ivan have done a tremendous job and I know our residents and visitors will agree. As an expression of the community and the region, the murals offer an engaging interactive public art experience which we expect will become popular backgrounds in social media feeds.”
Roque’s mural of birds, blooms and butterflies greet motorists and pedestrians at Downtown Wellen’s gateway along Wellen Park Boulevard, spanning the wall of the building that’s the future home of Oak & Stone Craft Beer & Artisan Pizza, Breakwater Home Fashions and Foxtail Coffee Co. Pommier’s mural, also located along the side of this building, is a vibrant dimensional oak tree landscape filled with beautiful flowers and greenery that leads you to a picturesque lakeside scene. The mural’s final touch, coming within the next few weeks, will be a swing so visitors can pose for photos. Pommier’s second painting of the woman peacefully floating in the water is adjacent to downtown’s two-story commercial and office spaces just across the boulevard.
The artists were selected from submissions to the inaugural Downtown Wellen Mural Project, a contest formed by Wellen Park and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County in search of artists to create murals reflecting the community’s emphasis on heartfelt connections, nature, joyful lifestyles and a waterside vibe. Roque has painted murals in 13 states, four countries and has worked with major clients like Microsoft, McDonald’s and Samsung. Pommier, a Port Charlotte artist, completed the “Blooms” mural at the Wellen Park Welcome Center as well as local works around the region.
“The murals reflect our unique sense of community,” said Masney. “They speak to Downtown Wellen as a space to gather, socialize and connect people of all ages, cultures and interests to each other and Wellen Park.”
Fully leased, Downtown Wellen’s retail and restaurant partners are preparing to open their doors throughout the spring season. The pedestrian-friendly venue for dining, shopping, entertainment and outdoor recreation features the 80-acre Grand Lake and thoughtfully designed green spaces – from intimate parks, and a unique alfresco living room shaded by decades-old relocated live oak trees to larger locales like the Great Lawn for community festivals, markets, celebrations and events and a lakefront fountain and splashpad. Solis Hall, an elegant rental venue, features an outdoor stage, a lakefront patio and an easy flow from inside spaces to neighboring alfresco destinations.
The community is encouraged to visit Downtown Wellen for a peek around town and enjoy the event series and programming Wellen Park has planned. There is a calendar packed with activities and events for people of all ages to come out and find their fun in Downtown Wellen. Information for upcoming events is available at wellenpark.com/events.
With the opening of its outdoor venues, Downtown Wellen has debuted a free weekly concert series on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., yoga on the Great Lawn on Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m., and Zumba, also on the Great Lawn, every Monday from 9 to 10 a.m.
The Yard, downtown’s food and entertainment park, features a fun and festive alfresco environment with ultra-causal food served from three retrofitted shipping containers. It also offers outdoor dining and an activity area that hosts Wellen Wednesdays with cornhole and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Food and beverage choices in The Yard include gourmet ballpark favorites from Atlanta Braves-affiliated Pop Dawgs and New England-style seafood and lobster rolls at Claw & Co.
The Grand Lake provides a scenic backdrop and opportunities for fishing and paddle sports. Visitors can enjoy time on the water and along downtown’s 2.8-mile lakefront trail with bicycle, e-bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals from the on-site Kind Vibes Outfitters.
Located off U.S. 41 just west of South River Road, Downtown Wellen’s array of restaurants includes the waterfront The Banyan House, Oak & Stone, Villani & Co. Steak Seafood Raw Bar, Aqua Pazza, Bright Ice Scoop Shop and Foxtail Coffee Co.
Also coming to Downtown Wellen are Breakwater Home Fashions, Paint Nail Bar, Naples Soap Company, DanaTyler jewelry and fashion boutique, Capstan Financial Consulting Group, RWA Engineering, Agility Physical Therapy, Florida Lakes Vein Center, Florida Lakes Spa, and Dr. Jeffrey Seymour Smiles Orthodontics.
Consistently ranked among the U.S.’s top-selling communities annually by prominent real estate consulting firm RCLCO, Wellen Park offers a mix of single-family and multifamily residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.
Wellen Park’s expanding residential choices include new-construction single-family homes in picturesque neighborhoods, a bundled golf and country club community, paired and attached villas, coach homes and condominiums. Rental options offer one- to three-bedroom luxury apartments and single-family homes, an apartment community for active adults 55 and older, and world-class independent, assisted living and memory care.
Wellen Park is close to top-ranked beaches and the area’s many attractions.
To learn more about living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to wellenpark.com or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.