First Art Winner, Mariska Callaway

Feature Story and Photos By Larry H. Oskin

Minneola celebrated its first annual Murals on the Trail Festival with plenty of exciting art, crafts, foods, music, live entertainment, workshops and activities at Minneola Trailhead Park (315 Madison St). Everyone was invited to participate on a Community Wall Mural, visit a live art station, a chalk art area, shaving cream art sculptures, Zen Tangled, Art Meditation, Acrylic Pour Art Demonstrations, Photography Workshops and the featured Community Hands Mural.

The idea of inviting everyone to share their handprints on The Minneola Hands Mural is to help encourage people to become involved in the arts. For a donation, a person, family  and/or all local artists can become part of the project’s installation by painting their handprint on the walls with other members of the community.

Minneola Mayor Pat Kelley (center) with Festival Organizers Lisa Harris (l) Lisa Jones (r)

Mayor Pat Kelley shared, “I think this project is great for Minneola. I wish them future success for this new annual event. They are really off to a good start!” Lisa Harris of the South Lake Art League noted, “This is very exciting! While we are just starting to review the first art murals, we hope we will receive plenty of new entries for Phase Two.”

Gus Ortiz and Lisa Harris

Gus Ortiz noted, “We are all so very excited to bring this art project to the community. This outdoor mural gallery will be a focal point and a driving force for locals and tourists. It has the potential to change the entire art landscape for our South Lake area.”

Pictured Mariska Callaway, Mural Artist (center) with Parents Matthew (R) and Jodi (L)
The Minneola Hands Mural

Mariska Callaway has been selected as the very first approved artist to share her proposed wall art mural, which has already been approved by the City of Minneola. Callaway is a talented young home school student. Her proposed artwork symbolizes the need for peaceful diversity in our community, while also helping to support cancer awareness. Her parents Jodi and Matthew Callaway are very proud of her artistic achievements. While submissions for Phase One have just ended, Phase Two submissions are now invited, to help decorate the Minneola Trail for walkers, bikers and runners to enjoy. Accepted mural art will win $500 and all of your needed art supplies. You get to choose and submit your creative artwork. A total of about twenty wall art murals will be placed on the exterior walls of the Highway 27 overpass on the Minneola section of the South Lake trail.

Go to the Minneola Artworx website: for more information and to download submission forms. All artwork must be original. The large art murals will each measure about 9 ’x 14’. Artists are encouraged to visit the trail site prior to submitting their artwork proposals. Local schools are encouraged to submit art proposals from their students. No logos, words, names or numbers can appear in the designs. No prior art experience is needed.


 Minneola Artworx: The mission of the Murals On The Trail project is to bring the Minneola and South Lake Communities together as well as to beautify the Minneola 27 underpass while reducing the potential for graffiti at this site. Minneola Artworx is a group of local arts advocates whose goal is to create an arts scene that brings our town together and encourages the growth of local businesses in Minneola that is supported and funded by public and private partnerships. This group is still seeking artists of all ages to create family friendly murals that express the positive spirit of our community.

More funds are still needed.

Minneola Murals on the Trail: For more information contact Josephine Dix at the Minneola Library at 352-432-3921 EXT: 380 or email: Visit the Minneola Artworx website:


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