Karla King, a true local, was born and raised here in Sarasota. She grew up loving the beach and being near the water. Karla worked in banking for the past 7 years but due to COVID-19, she lost her job in September 2020. She is a single mother and now a full-time college student pursuing her Master's Degree in Social Work. She considers herself to be a professional at overcoming life's obstacles and believes positive things come from the most difficult times we endure. Since losing her job last year, she has discovered new passions, purpose, and a true love for the creative arts. My Grandad, Rolland King, inspired me to get involved with the Avenue of Art project. Rolland passed away on November 3, 2019, he contributed a lot to the history of our beautiful city of Sarasota and was an incredible man. In the mid-1950s, Rolland King and Frank Smith (business partner) purchased 1240 acres of citrus groves in the South Gate area and began the development for this community. From 1955-1956 the first model homes opened and the South Gate Community Association was established. They came up with a slogan for the new development: “Where you live among the Orange Blossoms. ” Then in 1957, they had a grand opening for the South Gate Shopping Plaza which consisted of 23 stores. I decided to paint the original South Gate Shopping Plaza sign, established in 1957.