Public Art Alert

Check Out the Public Art Installation Headed to Downtown Sarasota's One Main Plaza

Asper is the public art component of the massive, mixed-use One Main Plaza complex headed to downtown Sarasota.

By Kim Doleatto May 8, 2023

Asper by Zachary Oxman, will reach roughly 14 feet high and be installed at 1991 Main St.

At the City of Sarasota's May 3 Public Art Committee meeting, a sculpture by artist Zachary Oxman was approved as the public art piece component of One Main Plaza, now under construction at 1991 Main St. at the corner of Main Street and Links Avenue, just west of the Hollywood 11 movie theater. Once complete, the project will include two 10-story towers with 418 luxury rental apartments, 55,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and roughly 1,200 parking spaces, all spanning five acres.

The sculpture is titled Asper, and it will be 14 feet tall, made of polished stainless steel bolted to a concrete foundation, and cost the development firm Belpointe, which is spearheading the One Main Plaza Project, $485,000. 

Eric Fenton, vice president of development for Belpointe, selected Oxman and Asper for the site. The two previously collaborated on a similar project in Reston, Virginia, called Convergence.

Rendering of Asper.

Appearing to hold up the ceiling of the lower level of the project, the human hand in Asper is “a universal symbol representing the power of human touch and our connection to one another. It is the human hand that has the strength to support, nurture and heal," according to the artist's narrative about the sculpture.

One Main Plaza is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024, with delivery and installation of Asper slated for June 3-7 of next year.

A rendering of One Main Plaza at 1991 Main St.

Per the City of Sarasota's mandatory checklist for creating a public art piece, it will be visible from Main Street and interact with the public realm. 

In a previous article we wrote about Sarasota's growing public art collection, Fenton said including a public art component in development projects is becoming more common, “especially in cities that celebrate the arts and consider themselves cultural centers. In response, I think a lot of developers are supportive because it benefits everyone.”

When developers build new projects in the City of Sarasota, they can choose to either incorporate a piece of public art in the building process or pay into the city’s public art fund. Another option is to commission a work of public art to be placed elsewhere in the city. In instances like the One Main Plaza project, the artist's submission does not have to go in front of City of Sarasota commissioners, nor does it require a public input session.

According to the plans, One Main Street will also have storefronts on Main Street—where the sidewalk will be widened to 20 feet—Links Avenue and Fruitville Road. The project will be the largest rental project to open downtown in years. 

Interested? Contact Kevin Robbins of Harry E. Robbins Associates here.

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