This time will armchair critics delight at Orlando public art?

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All right, Orlando, I know works of public art don't usually get as warm a welcome around this city as, say, the latest Wawa opening.

We mocked the Tower of Light in front of City Hall by likening it to asparagus. And a pricey bronze frog may have cost former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin a seat in Congress. But we're getting another chance.

Not one, but eight pieces have been installed downtown as part of a project called See Art Orlando. Six of them surround Lake Eola, possibly making it the world's artsiest sinkhole.

I'm so into some of these works that I think they could come to define Orlando the way Philadelphia's "Love" sculpture defines the City of Brotherly Love. Others, not so much.

Most of us aren't art critics, but that won't stop us from reviewing them. I'll go first. For fun, I scored them on a 1-5 scale of Michelangelo's "David."

Disco homage. Can't ignore it. The six pillars at the corner of Robinson Street and Eola Avenue appear to be topped with disco balls. Just the kind of deep subject matter you might expect from Orlando. But there's more to it than that. Think enormous whimsical wind chime, but with lights instead of sound. The pillars have wavy arms that spin with the breeze and, at night, reflect colored light in different directions. I couldn't get close enough because a crew was adding finishing touches, but I want to stand smack in the middle of it and look up at the lights. 3 Davids

Private eye. If one of these pieces makes me glad public money wasn't used to pay for it, it's this one. There would just be something unsettling about city government funding the installation of a large cartoonish eyeball looming over a public park. We could call it, "Big Buddy." But all eight pieces are funded by private benefactors. And this work's actual name is "Centered." 2 Davids

Big foot. I'm not sure if the tiny bald figure is straining to lift his gigantic feet, or if his tree-trunk legs make him so fast that he's about to take off from his platform in the Farmer's Market area.

"I like the feet," said Paul White as he walked by on the way to his nearby condo at The Paramount. White's 3-year-old daughter wasn't so admiring. "She's scared of this one," he said, as she hid behind his legs. I asked White what he thought the figure meant. "I have no idea," he said.

Me either. But the way it plays with size and perception makes it fun to look at, even if it startles the little ones. 4 Davids

The birds. This is art imitating life. A flock of aluminum birds look as if they're swooping low over the lake. When Lake Eola rises and covers the black base of the art, it will look as though the birds are suspended in air. Both times I stopped to gaze at this one, a flock of pigeons took off from the nearby overlook. Make that life imitating art. 5 Davids

Giant woman. Here's a prediction: Your Facebook feed is about to get slammed with photos of people sitting in the large, open palm of this beauty. She lounges on her side under a blanket of vines and new sod near the amphitheater. I'll admit when I first saw this piece my mom antenna went on high alert. I could just picture little feet trampling all over it. Artist Meg White, who happened to be there helping to smooth the berm that covers her creation, assured me it's meant to be touched. She said passers-by have been decidedly positive. "I've had applause," she said. "One guy wanted my autograph." Well, well, Orlando. Maybe we're moving beyond asparagus insults. 5 Davids

Big tree. Or maybe not. I guess it's the theme park native in me that feels this thing would fit in at Animal Kingdom, where giant fake trees abound. Only, this one is tall and has a dark feel to it until nightfall when it will be lit from within. The branches all appear to end in mirrored platforms in a way that resembles a giant tiered cupcake stand. 3 Davids

The globe. This orb with images of fish is tilted just so on its pedestal. There's even a small ring at the top making it look as though it would be the perfect ornament for a giant Christmas tree. It's in a high visibility spot in front of the Orange County History Center and next to the Lynx Stop at Magnolia Avenue and Central Boulevard. 2 Davids

The broccoli. I know, I chided Orlando for dubbing another tower "asparagus." But this one is a term of endearment. It shares some characteristics — glass panels on a metal tower with lights — as the widely panned Tower of Light that went up two decades ago. But the new piece on Orange Avenue in front of Signature Plaza is topped with a sphere made of hundreds of spirals. I want to see it at night. Especially since it will be in view of its cousin asparagus, which also will light up again this month thanks to the private fundraising of a local business group. 4 Davids

bkassab@tribune.com

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Editorial Poll


THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

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