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Fruit Crate Mural Squeezes In from the Past

Artist Steve Spathelf and a new foundation for art and history preservation worked together to pay homage to Dunedin's orange-manufacturing heritage.

Fruit Crate Mural Squeezes In from the Past Fruit Crate Mural Squeezes In from the Past

Dunedin's finally accomplished his dream.

Steve Spathelf, finally, after two years of spreading orange art appreciation to the , got to paint what he originally hoped. A fruit crate label.

Spathelf joined together with The Dunedin Chamber Cultural & Education Foundation, a year-old nonprofit that promotes the preservation and education of public art, for a mural that would pay homage to the city's orange-manufacturing heritage.

Spathelf said, he's always been fascinated with the old labels.

"I just think they’re cool," he said.

The orange crate labels fueled his desire to paint them and two years ago, he set in motion a citywide orange craze.

Spathelf began secretly painting oranges on businesses about two years ago. Dunedin fell in love with them. Soon after, he revealed his identity and has since continued, taking on orange paintings as he's commissioned. He's up to 131 paintings. The 100th orange went up on the on April 23. He is also known for and the postcard mural outside Thorton, Donoghue & Associates on Main Street.

The new mural is a replica (with some artistic liberties) of a label that's on display at the , he said. It is on the outside wall of Stirling Commons (next to and ) and was officially unveiled with a small ceremony on Dec. 7.

"At least it’s appealing," Spathelf said, and "it’s part of art history." (Again.)

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