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Stunning New Panthers Mural Comes from Unlikely Artist

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop /

Jon Curran Panthers Mural

Jon Curran Panthers Mural

Pro Golfer Jon Curran paints Panthers Mural

  • 00:47 •

SUNRISE, Fla. - Jon Curran describes himself as "an artist by hobby."

A professional golfer with 93 appearances on the PGA Tour to his credit, the Jupiter resident picked up a paint brush in junior high and has been cultivating the craft in his downtime ever since. When he's not on tour he can often be found in his garage, which doubles as a studio.

"I've always had a real interest in urban art - graffiti, spray paint, all of that kind of stuff," said Curran, who grew up on the outskirts of Boston in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. "When I made enough money to buy a house, I had a garage that I could paint in. That was the first time I could really use spray paint. That's when I started to practice and dabble with it in my off time."

For Curran, art can also be therapeutic, an outlet to unwind from his rigorous travel schedule.

Playing most recently on the Korn Ferry Tour, the 32-year-old spends a large chunk of his time on the road. According to his PGA Tour profile, he's already participated tournaments in North Carolina, Kansas, Utah, New York, Nebraska, Missouri and the Bahamans just in 2019 alone.

"Golf is so time consuming," Curran said. "It takes time away from your family. It's important to have time away from golf. It can really consume your life, in terms how we play week in and week out, having a lot of travel. It's just a lot. It's nice to have a hobby like this outside of golf."

While Curran would have likely been content to keep his work within the confines of his garage, the opportunity to do his first public installation came about after he was contacted by Florida Panthers Senior Vice President Shawn Thornton, who knew of him through a mutual friend.

Thornton said the team was looking for someone to create a captivating mural inside BB&T Center prior to the start of the season, and Curran, who previously turned down a similar offer with the club due to a scheduling conflict, was simply the perfect man to undertake such a task.

Without hesitation, he accepted the job.

"It was great to get the opportunity," Curran said. "It was a lot more work than I thought it was going to be. Maybe it's just because I'm not particularly efficient with what I was doing. It was the first time I've done it, so I might be able to trim off a few hours if I ever did it again. It was definitely fun. I just like to use spray paint. This was a great opportunity for me to get to do it."

Inspired by the colorful street art showcased in Miami's world-famous Wynwood Arts District, the idea behind Curran's piece was to raise awareness about the endangered Florida panther.

Taking roughly three days to complete, the mural, which is located on the arena's upper-level, features a stunning panther, full of earthy-colored triangles, set atop a red background. To the left of the animal are three palm tree silhouettes, a large Panthers team logo and #OneTerritory.

"I liked the style that I did it in," Curran said of the completed work. "Technically, it's a little bit more time consuming, but you can really dial in some detail with it. It's interesting and different."

Curran said the concept was also influenced by Arlin Graff, a popular Brazilian street artist.

"He does stuff similar to this," Curran said. "I've working like that for a little while."

With the mural now complete and set to be unveiled during Florida's home opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Curran said he hopes fans will not only enjoy taking photos and sharing his work, but also be touched by the strong preservation message that inspired it.

"That would be really cool," Curran said. "It was a thrill to do. I love to use spray paint and I love big mural artwork. I've never had the opportunity to do it outside my garage, so it was a thrill to just be able to do it. Whatever happens with it, it's great."

If you'd like to see more of Curran's work, check him out on Instagram @JonCurran333.

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