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Sarasota Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 3 months ago

Childcare murals focus on first 1,000 days

The early development community initiative has commissioned murals in Sarasota and North Port.
by: Harry Sayer Staff Writer


++Artist hopes to evoke feelings of joy

+++Truman Adams is a freelance artist who specializes in large and intricate murals. He recently submitted three design ideas for the mural competition and was selected as the winner for Sarasota. 

The design First 1,000 Days settled on was of a child blowing multicolored bubbles into the air. The organization asked Adams to paint his on the side of the Forty Carrots Family Center. 

Adams says the idea is simple enough, but its the execution that makes it a challenge. The mural’s design came to him as a vision in his head, which he then made his reference fit his vision. 

“The portrait of the child is painted in a classical realist style, and the bubbles are more impressionistic and abstracted,” Adams said. “I love portraiture and am always impressed by an artist who can paint a good portrait, especially in large scale street art.”

He used water-based satin exterior house paint for the piece and recently finished. He’s dealt with the usual artist feelings of wanting to continue to add to the mural, but also knows when it’s time to stop. He hopes people will view his new work with  feelings of joy.

“I want everyone who sees it to be inspired by it,” he said. “I want it to evoke feelings of awe and wonder, happiness and joy, to appeal to the child in all of us. I’m 42 now but when I see a bubble it’s like I’m 2 again and I am just as delighted.”   



++The beginning of a child’s life can be beautiful, but without the proper resources in the first weeks and months, hardships that last decades can follow. 

First 1,000 Days of Sarasota County is a community initiative looking to help with that. The program — created by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation — has partnered with dozens of local nonprofits and community figures to assist families in caring for their children during those critical first months. 

The initiative launched a website ( to connect and aid families with childhood development resources and local nonprofits last fall. While there are many resources available to young parents, it can be overwhelming to know exactly where to turn — the new website portal is meant to consolidate the information and resources available for people. That includes helping new and expecting families to find prenatal care, family planning services, mental health treatment, stable housing, and more.

“It’s one of the double-edged swords about Sarasota County is that we have a lot of really good nonprofits, but a mom sometimes doesn't know where to turn,” said Kelly Romanov, Innovation and Impact Officer at the Barancik Foundation. “What we're trying to do is make that a streamlined process so where there's no wrong door (for parents).”

To celebrate the website’s launch, staff members called for mural submissions that highlight early child development. Three murals were chosen for display in Sarasota, North Port and a Sarasota County library.

Mural artist Truman Adams recently finished a mural of a child blowing bubbles on the wall of the Forty Carrots Family Center on Tuttle Avenue. 

The organization received a number of commissions and had its Parent Advisory Committee choose  the final pieces. Dr. Chelsea Arnold, Program Coordinator for First 1,000 Days Sarasota, said that Forty Carrots and its CEO Michelle Kapreilian has been deeply involved with the initiative and that its work with other organizations made it a perfect pick for having the Sarasota mural. 

“When you celebrate the work being done through art, it's much more palatable,” Romanoff said. “There's amazing families out there that are persisting through such adversity that we wanted to celebrate them with beautiful artwork.”






Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 

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