– Orlando took another step toward boosting its public art on Wednesday when Mayor Buddy Dyer announced seven artists have been chosen for a new sculpture program during his State of the City address.
The See Art Orlando program is designed to enhance the cultural image of the city — and make "The City Beautiful" even more beautiful — by installing sculptures throughout downtown.
The mayor first announced the $1.5 million program in August. The pieces will be paid for by private donations.
A local, national and international call for artists resulted in more than 170 submissions from 36 states and 16 countries. The See Art Orlando board of directors and donors selected seven, including Orlando resident Jacob Harmeling. Owner of QUI Studios in the Ivanhoe Village MainStreet District, Harmeling will create a sculpture to be placed in the Lake Eola Park, near the intersection of Central Boulevard and Osceola Avenue.
Other selected artists include:
• Douwe Blumberg of DeMossville, Ky., will create the sculpture along Robinson Street in Lake Eola Park.
• Ralfonso Gschwend of Zurich, Switzerland, will create the sculpture at the corner of Robinson Street and Eola Drive.
• Todji Kurtzman of Portland, Ore., will create the sculpture at the corner of Eola Drive and Central Boulevard.
• DeeDee Morrison of Birmingham, Ala., will create the sculpture at the Orange County Regional History Center on Orange Avenue.
• Wendy Ross of Bethesda, Md., will create the sculpture at Seaside Bank at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue.
• Meg White will create the sculpture along Rosalind Avenue in Lake Eola Park.
"The artists selected are world-class with national and international acclaim," said See Art Orlando chairwoman Jennifer Quigley. "We are excited to have them prepare these iconic sculpture works for our downtown."
The selected artists are beginning the design phase. Installation of the sculptures is expected to be complete this September.
See Art Orlando is a nonprofit organization comprised of representatives of arts organizations, including United Arts, Downtown Arts District, Orange County Cultural Arts Advisory Board, CityArts Factory and Florida Theatrical Association. In addition to Dyer and Quigley, board members include Frank Billingsley, Linda Landman Gonzalez, Ron Legler, Jocelynn White, Donna Dowless and Wendy Connor.
Private donors supporting the See Art Orlando initiative include Ford Kiene and Quigley, the Devos Family Foundations, Massey Services, Khaled Akkawi, Bright House Networks, Darden Restaurants, Wayne Densch Charities and Comcast.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun