The large brown eyes behind the purple mask dare you to stop walking. They’re magical, and almost seem to follow you. The eyes belong to a young child, probably 6 or 7.
The child is wearing red boxing gloves, his hands held up to eye level. He looks serious, like he’s ready to do some damage.
But the artist, Sipros, a 34-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who doesn’t use his last name, sees the kid differently.
“My work is always happy, filled with color,” Sipros, who speaks in his native Portuguese, said to a translator. “My work is about a child’s imagination. He’s thinking he’s a superhero and can be anything.”
The work appears on the Lake Worth Municipal Swimming Pool wall and is part of the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show , the nation’s largest outdoor show that started Sunday and will run through Saturday in downtown Lake Worth and Lake Worth Beach.
CANVAS debuted in West Palm Beach in 2015, when 20 artists painted murals throughout downtown. Last year, the event expanded to four art parks along the West Palm Beach waterfront, a parking garage, a wall of the Hilton West Palm Beach and the Northwood district.
Now, 10 artists from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States are in Lake Worth painting colorful murals that will become a permanent part of the city’s landscape.
“Lake Worth is a great place to have CANVAS because this city is centered around art,” said Nicole Henry, the show’s founder and curator. “What better place to bring art than to a city that completely embraces it?”
The theme this year is unity. Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County made the event happen.
The murals vary from a gigantic paper airplane, to a lady emerging from the water beneath the Royal Park Bridge to famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., on the back of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s 601 Lake Avenue office building.
Jennifer Chapparo, a Hobe Sound artist, is creating a wall of wings at 612 Lucerne Avenue. “Everybody loves to stand in front of them and take pictures,” Chapparo said. “Getting people involved is so much fun and everybody loves this.”
Chapparo said one woman stopped by the mural at night and wanted to take a picture. “Now I’m going to put some glow-in-the-dark accents on it so maybe the wings will glow at night.” Chapparo said, laughing.
Meanwhile, Douglas Hoekzema, a 37-year-0ld artist from Miami, is creating a colorful mural at the Zoo Gym on Lake Avenue that will challenge a viewer’s perspective. “It’s a vortex or a portal,” Hoekzema said. “But I don’t really define them, I let other people define them.”
He said he hoped to finish his work on Wednesday, but he’s not sure. “Ah, the sun,” he said, wiping sweat off his brow.
Henry said she selected the artists based on their social medial following, hoping that will help drive visitors to Lake Worth. “I was also inspired by innovative and creative art work that’s so fresh and not the kind of work you see all the time,” she said.
Visitors can download a free CANVAS Outdoor Museum app for a self-guided tour of the event.