After presentations from six artists hoping to have their work installed in a Sarasota roundabout, the Sarasota Public Art Committee yesterday settled on two winners: “Life in the Seagrass” by Casto Solano and "Poly” by Nancy Hou. Pending approval from the Sarasota City Commission in September, "Seagrass" will be installed at the intersection of U.S. 41 and 10th Street and "Poly" will be placed at U.S. 41 and 14th Street.

The meeting featured input from community members who dropped in to make their opinions known. After hearing from the artists about their concepts and asking them questions about their work, the audience was able to give constructive feedback and discuss potential alterations to the sculptures. “It was wonderful to have the feedback,” says Leslie Butterfield, the chair of the Public Art Committee. “It just shows we’re working together and creating common understanding.”

The 10th and 14th Street roundabouts will be larger than originally expected, requiring the artists to increase the projected size and breadth of their sculptures before they can be constructed. “Poly” will reach the full allowable height of 21 feet rather than its original 18 feet, and the concept for “Life in the Seagrass” will be expanded to include more clusters of reeds.

After the artists make the necessary adjustments to their designs based on the feedback from the meeting, the Public Art Committee should receive the official stamp of approval from the City Commission on Tuesday, Sept. 3. After the designs are further reviewed by engineers, “Life in the Seagrass” will be produced in Spain and “Poly” will be constructed by local workers. The sculptures are expected to reach completion in 16 months.

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