DUNEDIN — Metaphorical, sophisticated, wonderful. City officials are using a bevy of adjectives to describe the artwork concept for their proposed new government center.
Plans call for the sculpture to be 25 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter near the bottom.
Support for the $75,000 sculpture proposal, titled "The See," comes from the city's Art and Culture Advisory Committee, its subcommittee, the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee, the City Commission, city officials and citizens.
City commissioners unanimously approved the design of the sculpture Dec. 17 and the initial steps to have it to be shovel-ready for when, and if, they authorize the construction of the new government center at Wood Street and Louden Avenue. The design phase of that project is essentially complete.
"I will say, this is another great moment for our city's public art series," said Jackie Nigro, chairwoman of the city's Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.
The artist selected is Heath Satow of Ogden, Utah. Satow plans to represent concepts of the ocean as a collective force with a sleek contemporary interpretation of a water drop, he wrote, "to remind viewers they are part of something larger, because things that happen at City Hall are part of something larger."
The city's consultant, Elizabeth Brinklow, said Satow has been designing and fabricating public art for more than 20 years.
"He welcomes the challenge of creating art that appeals to a diverse audience, from children to art critics," she said.
The sculptor takes pride in that he has completed every one of his projects within the budget and on time, she said.
His artworks have been installed internationally and range in commission from $60,000 to $2.2 million, Brinklow said.
He was inspired by the quote, "Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean," from Japanese writer Ryunosuke Satoro, she said.
Commissioner Deborah Kynes, who has been involved in numerous art projects during her tenure in office, said she loved the use of a metaphor in the proposal stemming from Satoro's writings.
"This really is different," Kynes said. "And it really is sophisticated, and I really do like it."
Commissioner Moe Freaney thanked the panel that selected the artist and others involved in the process, which she said has improved.
As a former city assistant manager, she remembers "where things by happenstance get thrown in for art."
"This is such a great process that we get through to get the right kind of matching, feeling art," Freaney said.
She thanked Brinklow for "bringing that to our world and certainly the advisory committee for having that vision as well."
Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said she was "very thrilled" with the proposal.
"This is just the first step. We are not saying we are going to build city hall tomorrow," Bujalski said. "We’re just getting our plans and everything together. It's smart to be shovel-ready in every way."
Of the nine submissions, the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee's subcommittee selected three semifinalists, all of whom are nationally known, Nigro said.
The subcommittee unanimously selected Satow's proposal. The Arts and Culture Advisory Committee approved that proposal at its October meeting.