Arts & Culture
Photos by Joey Borroto
Orlando experiences a public art renaissance
See Art at Lake Eola, Urban Art Museum and two more large-scale public works
Published: November 20, 2013
"Cedar of Lebanon," by Jacob Harmeling (Orlando, Fla.)
See Art: Central Boulevard at Osceola Avenue in Lake Eola Park
Local artist Harmeling created this terrific tree in his Alden Road studio, Qui. The mirror-finish steel "canopy" reflects other trees, neatly stealing vegetative reflections and making them its own. Its sinewy, muscular trunk is earthy, and likely to gather some interesting energy from the surrounding neighborhood over time. Watch for the eyeballs peering out of the trunk.
"Centered," by C.J. Rench (Hood River, Ore.)
See Art: East Central Boulevard between Lake Avenue and South Rosalind Avenue in Lake Eola Park
It's more than just centered, it is aimed bull's-eye at the great Eola fountain. Rench's heroic white form has an iconic feel – like we're seeing an instant sacred gate or something. The eye of God, or target practice for bored Waverly residents across the street?
"Global Convergence," by Deedee Morrison (Birmingham, Ala.)
See Art: 65 E. Central Blvd., in the Orange County History Center Plaza
What, another space ball? Nope, this metal sphere spins, with prisoner bass seemingly swimming inside. The gorgeous blue windows have a cosmic quality about them, and this globe makes you want to pick up trash or do something to make the earth as clean as Morrison's sculpture.
"Monument in Right Feet Major," by Todji Kurtzman (Portland, Ore.)
See Art: corner of East Central Boulevard and North Eola Drive in Lake Eola Park
Kurtzman is known for his bronze female nudes with exaggerated, muscular thighs. This being the Bible Belt, our Orlando chick's wearin' pants, striding on gigantic feet toward the downtown farmers market with a pocketful of brass. She'll buy out the market, for sure.
"Take Flight," by Douwe Blumberg (Mossville, Ky.)
See Art: Robinson Avenue between Rosalind and Broadway avenues in Lake Eola Park
Beautiful polished aluminum birds, winging along Lake Eola's edge, make the heart leap. "It was a tough site, there on the edge of that little lake," comments Blumberg in a phone interview, "and it makes the sculpture even more kinetic." Expect a few surprised dogs to get sore heads when they try to chase them.
"Muse of Discovery," by Meg White (Stephensport, Ky.)
See Art: Rosalind Avenue between Washington and Robinson streets in Lake Eola Park
This giant girl is just waking up, covered in a blanket of ivy. Sculpted of Indiana limestone, she might be symbolic of our city's emerging artistic spirit – or she's a reference to White's similar piece in Schaumburg, Ill. No doubt she'll get a lot of frat boys foraging through the ivy to see if she's really all there. Anyway, it's a great way to change the scale of the city.
> Email Richard Reep