There’s a new mural going up at The Destin Commons, and it may be familiar to Destin locals. Mattie the Giraffe, made popular by local artist Andi Scurto now graces the wall adjacent to the playground and splash pad at the Destin Commons.
“It all happened really quickly actually,” said Scurto when asked what sparked the mural’s creation. “The Destin Commons contacted me less than a month ago.”
Scurto said that when she noticed that the shopping center was commissioning artists to paint murals throughout the Destin Commons this past summer, she saw an opportunity.
“One of my favorite muralists in the whole world is DABSMYLA and they have a mural over by Victoria Secret. When I saw DABSMYLA here I was like, ‘Wow! The Destin Commons is going in a really cool direction with gaining art for art’s sake.’”
After contacting mall management about painting a mural, Scurto was surprised to receive an invitation almost immediately.
Scurto is known in Destin for her mural at the Destin Elementary School as well as her poster design for the Mattie Kelly Arts Festival in 2015.
“They told me, ‘We were looking for a space by the playground to add something whimsical and colorful,’” she said.
Scurto’s last mural project was for the Destin Elementary School in 2015. In the school painting she incorporated animals, books and other tools of learning into a rainbow-colored background.
For the Destin Common’s mural, Scurto said she used a similar background to her school painting but this time she chose her Mattie the Giraffe character riding an old-fashioned bicycle in the sky surrounded by colorful birds.
Scurto explained that Mattie the Giraffe first became popular in the area after she won the poster art competition with her character for the Mattie Kelly Arts Festival in 2015.
“I actually have a book in the works with a lot more Mattie adventures,” she said. “Mattie has been to space, underwater, to the jungle, flying, and to Aspen. The fun thing about Mattie is that I can let my imagination run wild; it’s just like total freedom.”
With her Destin Common’s mural, Scurto said she hopes to convey creativity and inspiration to everyone who sees it.
“I do want it to have the message that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can still adventure,” she said. “Who would have thought that Mattie the Giraffe would ride a bicycle and explore the world?”