Lim's revenge

Check Out the Top Sculpture Contender for the U.S. 41-Fruitville Road Roundabout

Where The Sun Always Shines by Sujin Lim earned the City of Sarasota Public Art Committee's recommendation at yesterday's meeting. It will now go to city commissioners for approval.

By Kim Doleatto May 4, 2023

A rendering of Where the Sun Always Shines by Sujin Lim

A rendering of Where the Sun Always Shines by Sujin Lim

The City of Sarasota is one step closer to choosing a final art piece for the US 41-Fruitville Road roundaboutin the heart of downtown Sarasota. 

The initial vote at yesterday's City of Sarasota's Public Art Committee meeting was tied: two votes for Dancing Clouds, by Shan Shen Sheng, and two for Where the Sun Always Shines, by Sujin Lim, with no votes for Snowbirds, by Mark Reigelman. A local student taking active role in government (STAR) was not present to participate in the vote, which resulted in a second round of voting after a conversation about each contender's submission. (Check those out here.)

The second round resulted in a majority vote for Where the Sun Always Shines.

If approved, the sculpture would be lit by night.

Three public speakers attended and noted they had issues with Reigelman's Snowbirds since the birds depicted were juncos, which are not local to the region.

A rendering of Snowbirds by Mark Reigelman

Another speaker who lived nearby pointed out that Dancing Clouds, a glass-based sculpture, would be blunted by the dust that blows in from westerly winds, thus demanding more upkeep.

A rendering of Dancing Clouds by Shan Shen Sheng

Senior city planner Mary Davis Wallace, who oversees the city's public art plan, reminded committee members that their recommendation would go before city commissioners for final approval and that they would have to defend their choice. "If we don't articulate this choice to the commission, they may reject it again," she warned.

What she may be referring to is the previous rejection of Lim's coral sculpture submission. In April of last year, 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.”

Lim’s new sculpture is a symbol of the sun, which, she wrote in her submission narrative, "represents what people love so much about living in Florida: warmth, joy, rest, and growth." 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 home to Sarasota. "The sculpture attempts to represent the human experience with nature by symbolically bringing the human habitat into the middle of the natural world," her submission read.

Where the Sun Always Shines will go before city commissioners later this summer for final approval. The public art sculpture will reach roughly 20 feet in height and have a budget of $250,000.

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