Mr. Imagination's Memory Wall – Sanford, Florida - Atlas Obscura

Sanford, Florida

Mr. Imagination's Memory Wall

This whimsical outsider art wall holds tiny treasures donated by the local community. 

This unique wall is made up of hand mixed concrete and nostalgic mementos donated by the Sanford community. In the wall, you’ll find a Nokia “brick” cellphone next to a World War II dog tag along with other significant keepsakes.

In the summer of 2007, Jeanine Taylor hosted artist Gregory Warmack, also known as Mr. Imagination, as part of her Sanford gallery’s artist-in-residence program. It was during this time that Warmack, in his own Pied Piper fashion, catalyzed the community’s creative connection with the installation of a Memory Wall on the façade of the historic 132-year-old Hotchkiss Building.

As a child growing up in Chicago’s south side, Warmack developed a love for painting and design. His first art show was in a neighborhood park where he displayed pictures painted on cardboard by him and other local children. He offered free after-school art lessons to neighborhood kids to prepare them for the show. As a young man, Warmack went on to design jewelry, which he sold to customers in the bards and businesses of south-side Chicago.

It was during one of these sales calls that Warmack was mugged, shot, and left for dead. After lying in a coma for a month and a half, Warmack emerged a changed person. While unconscious, the artist experienced what he describes as a spiritual voyage in which “there was a bright tunnel that I went through that was brighter than the sun.” This experience left an indelible impression on his life and work.

Today, Mr. Imagination’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum of Art, the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, The National Botanical Gardens in Washington DC, the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, the House of Blues Las Vegas and Orlando, and in private collections worldwide. Locally, his work can be found at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art in Downtown Sanford.

Know Before You Go

The museum is located in historic downtown Sanford. It's open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday by appointment.

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