The artist Don Rimx knew he had a tall task when hired to paint a mural on the side of what will likely become one of Orlando’s most talked about building debuts in recent memory: Electronic Arts new downtown headquarters.
Electronic Arts’ move to downtown Orlando from Maitland as an anchor to what city officials hope will become a geographical centerpiece and symbol of a growing tech scene has been years in the works.
With that backdrop, Rimx began work on the mural late last year. On Tuesday, the artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, finally unveiled “Suenos Naranja,” or “Orange Dreams,” to the public.
“The sensation I have every time people see my work, it’s something that fills my heart and it feels really divine,” Rimx told Orlando Tech News in Spanish. “Being able to make that connection with people, with the neighborhood, with the people who work here, it’s very important.”
The artistic vision for the mural, visible on eastbound Amelia Street on a building that sits just west of Orange Technical College’s downtown campus, involved a young person looking out into the open.
The mural also captures each of the subject’s senses, with orange blossoms and blue heron feathers paying homage to local plant and animal life.
Rimx has become known as a top mural artist, having created works in Israel, Berlin and Puerto Rico, among others. He has been featured in the New York Times, as well.
But while Rimx’s 85-foot tall, 60-foot wide mural certainly brings firepower to the visuals of the building, the big day will arrive when Electronic Arts opens it to the public. Right now, a small portion of EA’s 1,000 Orlando employees work from the building, with the majority still working from home.
EA NOT READY TO ANNOUNCE OPENING DAY
EA Tiburon’s director of operations and program management Jocel Thornhill said an opening day or open house date had not been set.
The company has worked virtually since the COVID pandemic started, for the most part.
Thornhill told Orlando Tech News that as the building and mural has come together, EA employees have been eager to launch into this new era of the company’s Orlando operations.
“We are really excited for the community to be able to see the mural every time they come down to this space,” she said. “For employees … it will truly, hopefully, inspire them when they come in and do the work that we do.”
Thornhill said Rimx’s mural works perfectly with the company’s emphasis on STEAM-based learning.
“There is not a better way to fuse the work Don is doing with the work we do in the building every day, which is focusing on creativity and innovation and inspiring the world to play as it relates specifically to video games,” Thornhill said.
To prepare for his work, Rimx took pictures of the building then drew his concepts on top of it.
Working around a portion of the wall cut out to allow for a series of windows was a challenge, he said.
However, once finished, he said he hopes the community enjoys his creation.
“For me, it’s important to be able to make that connection between the youth and the company,”: he said.
As for his gaming life, Rimx said he turned in his controller for another tool long ago.
“I used to play more video games,” he said, smiling. “But now, I play more with the paint.”
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