MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — “This is my meditation.”

Matt McAllister brushes pigment into pictures for a living. You’ve probably seen his mural art on local restaurant buildings or his temporary 3-D creations at area chalk festivals.

But these days the artist is using his driveway to express himself. A massive and colorful lorikeet is perched at the edge of the driveway where it meets the road.

“So my contribution to people dealing with coronavirus is offering my art,” said McAllister. “And I thought, 'why not go out in the driveway and paint something bright and happy and hopefully it’ll put a smile on peoples faces?' Because we have a lot more walkers and bikers now that people are staying home.”

The Manatee County-based artist says art allows him to focus on his work and block out everything else in life.

According to McAllister, this is a time to work on exceling at a hobby or interest while you are stuck as home bored out of your mind.

“Because for me, when I’m painting, I’m always practicing," he explained. "It removes me from the outside world and it makes me a better person — therefore, I’m gonna be healthier mentally."


Photo: Virginia Johnson/Spectrum Bay News 9


Neighbors like Lacey Oriti with her dog Cami in tow call it beautiful.

“It’s just nice to see artwork and people in the community coming together to brighten people’s spirits,” said Oriti.

“That is what I have to offer,” explained McAllister, “so I’m going to do it long as I’m healthy and good to go, I’m going to be offering art for the world to see.”