Where to Find Stencils

Where to Find Stencils in Gainesville

The stencil subculture thrives quietly in the streets of Gainesville. Hidden all over, clever stencils liven up the streets and walls of the city. They stir up thoughts and questions about the culture of Gainesville.


The brick walls of the University of Florida buildings harbor numerous stencils. They can be found all over campus from cement sidewalks to random poles and trashcans. There are several recurring stencils around campus. The word "STRATA" along with a pawn appears several times around the Hub on tables and traffic signs. Sometimes the word STRATA; appears in the shape of a triangle. Another common stencil is one that says "Te Amo Abelhinha," which means I love you my bumble bee in Portuguese. You can find this stencil at the Plaza of the Americas on the sidewalk or on random poles. One stencil that a lot of people notice is the lonely man walking, which is painted on a column on the student side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. There are numerous other stencils hidden around campus, and new ones constantly show up in surprising places.

Stencil from Florence, Italy


Stencils appear from time to time in Downtown Gainesville; however, they don't always last too long because the City maintains the buildings. Stencils can still be found on random doors and alleyways. One constantly reoccurring stencil is one that reads "SLU" or sometimes "SLU: to all our adoring fans" and has a face next to it. The only correlation between the letters SLU and fans (possibly implying music) is a cult called the Seeraen Light Universal, which is a cult that has a myth about the sun's music. It could also be a band's logo. These stencils can be found on South Main Street and near the Hippodrome State Theater. Another stencil is one of children running after pigeons. It is in the alley leading to the restaurant Ti Amo.

13th Street Tunnel

This tunnel's art is constantly changing. Every couple days a new mural is painted under the busy street advertising a campus event, announcing new fraternity or sorority members or simply a graffiti tag in intricate handwriting and bright colors. This is one of the only places where graffiti is permitted. If you were to walk there and look around, you'd find more than 20 different stencils placed the most random nooks and crannies of tunnel. New stencils constantly reappear, while some have been around for years.

34th Street Wall

Just south of University Avenue, 45 panels, each 20 feet wide, hold back the univeristy's golf course. What is so unique about this wall is that it has become Gainesville's message board. Since its construction in 1979, the wall has had graffiti on it. Messages of love, life, death, announcement, and political protest have all made its impressions on the wall, proof of that can be shown by the wall's ever-thickening layers of paint.

Despite the wall's many layers of paint, there is one panel at the middle of the wall that is rarely touched. This panel serves as a memorial to the victims killed by Danny Rollings in 1990. Local artists know not to paint over that part of the wall.