Public Art

Check Out the Public Art Concepts for the Fruitville Road Roundabout

The community is invited to tomorrow evening's online meeting to share their input.

By Kim Doleatto April 17, 2023

Have some ideas about the public art centerpiece headed to the roundabout at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road? You’re invited to share input at tomorrow’s online meeting.

From 5:30-7 p.m., artists Mark Reigelman, Sujin Lim and Shan Shan Sheng will present their concepts to the Sarasota Public Art Committee and the local community via Zoom. This follows a previous March 22 meeting, during which Reigelman and Lim, both of New York, and Sheng, of San Francisco, presented their concepts to the committee to receive input.

It's a redo. For background: In April of last year, City of Sarasota commissioners rejected the public art committee’s recommendation of Dwell—a colorful, coral-shaped sculpture by Lim, citing a lack of relevance. At the time, commissioner Hagen Brody said, “Coral has no relation to the Gulf Coast,” and added that the art “should bear some relation to our region or community.”

This time around, there's no coral—and Lim is in the running again along with Reigelman and Sheng (who also presented a concept to the commission last year). The public art sculpture will reach roughly 20 feet in height, and have a budget of $250,000.

Here are the contenders.

Snowbirds by Mark Reigelman

A rendering of Snowbirds

Reigelman's sculpture of three junco birds standing atop one another is a riff on the animals in the circus—a part of Sarasota's historic legacy—and the iconic trick of balancing on one another—think elephants with their front legs propped up on the elephant in front of them, forming a chain.

“Though this species of bird does not typically inhabit Sarasota’s warm climate, Snowbirds invites viewers to contemplate the delicate balance of play and fragility in a constantly changing world, while examining our own migratory impulses versus the desire to stay put,” says the artist’s statement on the piece.

A rendering of Snowbirds at night.

Pink seemed to be the crowd favorite as far as color, but public input from tomorrow's meeting may tip the final work toward another color. 

Where The Sun Always Shines by Sujin Lim

A rendering of Where The Sun Always Shines by night.

Lim's sculpture features sunbeams and sunshine as symbols that are "hopeful," she explains. The beams reference the suspension cables of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which she connected to the idea of "coming home," as a driver crossing the bridge might while on their way to home to Sarasota. Three clouds “represent the human experience with nature and the weather people love about living here,” she says.

A rendering of Sun Always Shines.

The house and sunbeams would be lit by night, “welcoming people home from childhood storybooks,” Lim says. The clouds would be positioned roughly seven feet high. You can check out Lim's existing cloud sculptures here.

Dancing Clouds by Shan Shan Sheng

A rendering of Dancing Clouds by day.

Sheng is known for her use of colorful architectural glass, and Dancing Clouds is a play on the city's name, according to the artist's presentation. "Sarasota appeared on maps in the 1700s, but the origin of the place name is uncertain," Sheng says. "One theory is that it may be a derivative of the Spanish term for 'a place of dancing.'" As for the glass, it represents "the crystal beaches of Sarasota," Sheng says. 

Rendering of Dancing Clouds

Each panel will have a different color, Sheng says. The roughly 28 clouds will each be three to nine feet wide, and no cloud will be the same as the other, "since in nature, no two clouds are the same," she says. All will be hand painted. 

On May 3, the public art committee will make its final recommendations to the City of Sarasota commissioners. We'll keep you posted on what's next.

Interested in attending tomorrow's meeting? Register here:

Show Comments