A Journey Inside Downtown Clearwater’s Murals with Mixed Reality

The four colorful murals in Downtown Clearwater’s urban core enhance and enrich the city’s public spaces with exciting visual imagery inspired by Downtown Clearwater’s past, present and future. The city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency is partnering with the University of South Florida’s Access 3D Lab to further enliven these spaces using advanced 3D digital technologies to bring these murals and their stories to life with virtual reality and augmented reality. The public can embark on a self-guided journey inside the Comunidad mural, located at 28 North Garden Ave., Clearwater, using a virtual reality headset or their own smartphone.

With these advanced technologies, the mural comes to life, allowing users to self-navigate through a story that celebrates cultural diversity and depicts a network of empowered, united women who form a vibrant community. This project is a first not just for Clearwater but for the region. It aims to set the bar for tech-engaged public humanities programming that surprises and delights audiences by inviting them to experience art in a fresh new way.

decorative image of blue paint
decorative image of pink paint decorative image of orange paint


Launching in 2020, the Paint the Town project will be built by University of South Florida’s Access 3D Lab. The team has already conducted a 3D scan of the Comunidad mural and surrounding area, and will develop virtual and augmented reality content that brings the mural to life.

The CRA and Access 3D Lab will hold several events for the public throughout the life of the project, where participants can get hands-on experience and learn more about mixed reality and public art.



Uruguayan artists Florencia Duràn and Camilo Nuñez, known as Colectivo Licuado, completed sketched and completed the Comunidad mural in January 2019 as part of downtown’s first large-scale public art project. The women featured in the mural form an empowered, united network and community, and are based on sketches of real women. See it in action here.


What is mixed reality?

Mixed reality is the result of blending the physical world with the digital world using digital tools. This includes virtual reality and augmented reality, among others.

What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

Virtual reality is an immersive 3D simulation of an environment viewed with a headset, while augmented reality uses a smartphone or tablet to project digital images on top of whatever you are looking at.

What will I experience on my tour of Clearwater’s murals?

The murals will come to life! Characters will move and dance. As you interact with the 3D virtual environment, you will navigate through pictures audio recordings and videos that tell the story of the murals.