By Kathy L. Collins

The water tower on US 41 in Apollo Beach is getting a facelift. Residents of the South Shore area can be a part of the transformation of the historic landmark.

Local artist, Michael Parker, has been selected to lead the creation of the new design. The project is funded through the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Public Art Program.

Join Parker and other members of the community at several upcoming workshops where you can collaborate on the public art design. The workshops will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 13 and 20 at 6 p.m. at the SouthShore Regional Library, located at 15819 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.

In the workshops, Parker leads community members in the process of taking ideas (things like landmarks or physical elements that represent the community) to a collective idea to embracing a concept that many can visualize which defines the community. Parker said, “I will then take what is generated at the workshops and use that to formulate three ideas.” The three designs will be presented to the Public Art Committee of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and they will determine which design will go onto the water tower. As such, this is a huge opportunity for members of the community to be involved in transforming a historic landmark.

The South Shore area is rapidly changing. Have your voice and ideas heard and help determine what the new art on the water tower will be. Parker said, “I want to collectively design this project with interested and committed members of the community.”

Parker has been involved for many years in turning buildings and other structures into public art. Many of these places were places that people did not want to look at before they were transformed. Conversely, everyone looks at the water tower. Parker said, “Here, we are taking something that everyone looks at and making it even better. It is pretty cool.”

Parker is a graduate of USF. In 2008 Parker moved to Ruskin and worked on a mural for the Big Draw and has been a fixture in the arts community ever since.

Become involved in the water tower project. Join the conversation on Facebook at For more information, contact Parker at 846-2000.

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