“City Rejects Art Slated for Fruitville Road and U.S. 41 Roundabout”

“City Rejects Art Slated for Fruitville Road and U.S. 41 Roundabout”

Photo: Sujin Lim

“The Sarasota City Commission yesterday rejected a proposal for a new sculpture resembling coral to be installed in the roundabout at the intersection of Fruitville Road and U.S. 41.

Following a call to artists issued last year, the city’s public art committee had recommended that the city install South Korean artist Sujim Lim’s colorful Dwell. The sculpture was one of three finalists selected from 143 applications submitted by artists around the country. Other finalists included the three-sided, stainless steel, orchid-inspired Whorligig by Mark Aeling of St. Petersburg, and San Francisco-based Shan Shan Sheng’s painted-glass sundial concept called Open Gate. When Lim won the public art committee’s recommendation, members praised Dwell for being “playful, colorful and easy to understand.”

But when final approval was needed to move forward with Dwell, some commissioners disagreed. Commissioner Hagen Brody said, “Coral has no relation to the Gulf coast,” and that the art “should bear some relation to our region or community.”

Commissioners could have voted to use one of the other two artists’ works, but arguments against the Whorligig included its potential to attract people who might try to climb its edges.

Concerns about Open Gate included that its color wouldn’t stand out enough against a blue sky. Art committee members argued that the most timely option would be to ask Lim to come up with another concept, but commissioners decided to leave that process up to them…”

— Kim Doleatto, Sarasota Magazine

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Scenic Intersection Ramps: “Winning design chosen for Winter Park I-4 Ultimate ramp”

Scenic Intersection Ramps: “Winning design chosen for Winter Park I-4 Ultimate ramp”

Rendering: By RLF Architects

“Design selection by the Public Art Advisory Board was approved by the City Commission last month for a large-scale sculpture that will be installed at the new I-4 Ultimate on-ramp in Winter Park…

The installation will feature a long row of interconnected, multi-colored 18-foot poles…

The initiative is part of the I-4 Ultimate Art Endowment Program, funded by the I-4 Mobility Partners to the tune of $1.5 million. Six cities along the 21-mile stretch of the I-4 Ultimate corridor are responsible for choosing a winning design to be installed on their portion of the interstate…”

— Brendan O’Connor, Bungalower
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Sarasota: “A City of Visionaries, Roundabouts, and the Arts”

Sarasota: “A City of Visionaries, Roundabouts, and the Arts”

Photo: Nate Ilardi for City of Sarasota
The Jumping Fish sculpture stands 16 ft high by 12 ft wide in the center island of the modern roundabout at Cocoanut Avenue & Palm Avenue. The sculpture was selected from among 140 submissions and is the 84th piece in Sarasota’s Public Art Collection. It was sculpted in 2019 by Jeff Laramore.

“Sarasota, Florida is a city that has long proudly supported the arts.

The city’s vibrant arts scene includes the Ringling College of Art and Design, the famous Ringling Museum, an opera house, a ballet company, and the Sarasota Art Museum. Thanks to visionaries, the City’s Public Art Collection now includes downtown modern roundabouts graced with artworks.

Early on, then Sarasota City Engineer Dennis Daughters, then City Traffic Manager Sam Freija, and current City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw envisioned a downtown made more pedestrian friendly—and even more beautiful—with a collection of modern roundabouts. Today, their vision is coming to fruition.

‘We’re interested in the safety of walkability and connectivity to Sarasota Bay,” Downtown Sarasota Condo Association Transportation Committee Chair and Urban Planning Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati Roger Barry said. “The roundabouts help supply that and appear to be extremely successful. I think we’re kind of proud of the fact Sarasota is an art-focused community and the roundabouts are an expression of that…'”

Five Points Roundabout at Main Street & Pineapple Avenue. Photo: Ken Sides

Embracing Our Differences Roundabout at Main Street & Orange Avenue. Photo: Nate Ilardi for City of Sarasota

Photo: Bravo! Roundabout at Ringling Boulevard & Orange Avenue. Photo: Ken Sides

To help a skeptical public understand what it would get in return for giving up the two travel lanes, Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects Lab created a rendering depicting how different the three intersections could look with marine-themed public art in the roundabout central islands for the Fruitville Road roundabout. Image: Hoyt Architecture Lab.

— Ken Sides, Roads and Bridges

Read entire detailed article in Roads and Bridges

NEW! Scenic Florida’s Section in the Bill Brinton Library devoted to Scenic Intersections