PUBLIC ART TELLS STORY.
Through touches, the play of light and shadow and prismatic colors thrown at its viewers, public art conveys the spirit and character of a community, capturing a snapshot of ancient history, revealing its values, culture and diversity. For newcomers and visitors, it captures the sense of place; it inspires civic pride and builds communities for the locals.
Public art tells the story of lived … and lost lives. It celebrates famous people, everyday moments, ordinary people.
Fun and playful. Provocative and purposeful. Trail finder and maymaker.
Narrated by frescoes and memorials, light and landscaping, architecture and sculpture, public art gives color and vitality that everyone can enjoy, ready to surprise at a turn. No admission required.
“Public art can help celebrate communities, honor history and traditions, improve street landscapes, and define public spaces and cultural neighborhoods,” said Dave Lawrence, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. “Public art provides meaningful engagement for both residents and visitors and encourages engagement with local businesses, creative professionals and the community – all of which support and strengthen our economy and quality of life here in Palm Beaches.”
Public art is also influencing local economies, attracting visitors and tourists interested in the increasingly popular niche of travel with history and heritage.
Palm Beach Gardens engages visitors to explore their online inventory, encouraging them to vote for their favorite songs as the winner of people’s choice.
Municipalities have introduced art taxes, development fees and incentives to support the continued growth of their work bodies – and ongoing support. Boynton Beach has a 1% public art fee and guidelines for integrating public art into architecture, infrastructure, landscape and green roads. In West Palm Beach, The Related Group installed three monumental pieces in Rosemary Square, including the Tree of Wishes, a towering 32-foot LED-powered banana tree.
Involving artists in urban construction projects enriches public spaces, buildings and street landscapes, said Elaine Toby Singer, administrator of the Palm Beach County Public Arts Program, also citing a 2018 study that found 70 percent of Americans believe that the arts improve the image and identity of the community.
The walls of the building provide a blank canvas for murals and many cities in Florida are taking advantage of the growing trend. There is even a Florida mural trail (www.VisitFlorida.com).
“It’s nothing like taking concrete and painting it,” said Emily Theodosakos, marketing and program manager for Lake Worth Arts or LULA, the art department at Lake Worth Beach Renovation Agency. “Our murals definitely illuminated the area and brought more exposure to the city. The murals attract visitors. I see people jumping out of their cars and taking selfies. ”
While art museums and gallery spaces such as Norton and the Society of the Four Arts are likely sites for significant outdoor works, public art also defines downtown, municipal buildings, parks, squares, and public spaces in Palm Beach County. The established programs of Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth Beach and Delray Beach are expressed in murals and sculptures, including the kinetic “Reflections” installed in the kinetic square of Boynton Beach in 2020.
“We are fortunate to have fantastic public art throughout Palm Beach County, created by both local and world-renowned artists,” said Mr. Lawrence of the Cultural Council.
In the Palm Beach Convention Center, silver rainbows roll like waves from the building, heading for the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Created by Barbara Grigutis, the perforations in the aptly named “Wave” play with sunlight during the day and are illuminated by wavy blue LEDs as night falls. The work is a landmark and a suitable welcome for legions outside the city, attending conferences, exhibitions and other events.
Many artists often become local favorites. Ms. Grigutis also created the Green Wall, landscaping as an art for the Centennial Bell & Tower Plaza in West Palm Beach in honor of the local hammock coastal environment. Florida’s state tree, the sabal palm, was the inspiration for the shady canopy and bell tower in the square.
Public art by Mark T. Fuller, a sought-after environmental graphic and industrial designer based in West Palm Beach, is popping up all over South Florida. He created the golf ball sculpture at the PGA of America headquarters in the Palm Beach Gardens and the Light Swimming light-changing installation on the walls of South County Downtown.
Art was also included in the design of the new PalmTran Delray Beach headquarters, completed in 2021. Glazed ceramic tiles and the My Way Declaration by creators Rosario Marquard and Robert Behar reflect the role of public bus transport to gather people and neighborhoods.
Delray Beach is a bastion of the arts. While compiling cartographic locations for her art trail, Laura Simons, executive director of the Delray Downtown Association, has created a collection of 80 public works of art, including more than 40 murals superior to those in Winwood Walls, the latter revered internationally. of street and graffiti art.
“We put together the trail as a way to highlight and accentuate all the art there,” she said.
The “Dancing Pineapples” mural in the Pineapple Grove arts district, the colorful mosaic fountain of ocean life in Veterans Park and the “Child Holding Seedlings” mural on the Delray Beach Tennis Center wall are among the most iconic, pineapples are the most photographed. says Mrs. Simons.
Delray’s comprehensive public art program also includes Art in the Alley, an annual one-day volunteer painting event to shape the alleys of Osceola Park, and 15 commissioned art chair sculptures representing community stakeholders. Delray’s devotion to public art is also passed on to the newcomers – six pastel-colored monuments at the entrance to West Atlantic Avenue and I-95 greet guests, with their free form almost waving to arriving motorists. Passed in pastels by San Antonio artist Michelle Newman, the portals rise 28 feet and connect with the past, with geometric motifs seen in the textiles and art of the Seminoles, gladioli referring to the city’s long festival and pineapples hinting at long-standing plantations.
In Boca Raton, Recycled Reef by local artist Gregory Deer serves as an envoy and lecturer, illustrating the beauty and fragility of the delicate marine environment of Southeast Florida. Opened in March at South Beach Park, the large coral reef is made from recycled rebar and discarded plastic that the artist found on local beaches.
Lake Worth Beach boasts more than 30 murals, some of which were painted during the 2017 CANVAS Art Charities charity, an art event that turns public spaces into temporary open-air museums and interactive artists. A mural by Martin Luther King Jr., painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Cobra (he also painted the psychedelic Einstein’s Theory of Love) on the facade of the Lake Worth headquarters of the Cultural Council, is one of the most iconic, says Ms. Theodosakos . The same goes for the Hatch 1121 Great Wall of Artists, home of LULA and the Reconstruction Agency, and Tuppen’s Marine & Tackle’s replacement marine mural for 2020.
In total, Lake Worth Beach has over 70 public art installations. Every artist has received a commission, says Ms. Theodosakos.
LULA also brings art to people. Designed to cope with COVID’s isolation and continued reluctance to visit galleries in person, LULA launched free small art galleries in March. The six locations, with 12 more to come, are for art exchange.
“They are miniature art galleries of public and private property,” said Ms. Theodosakos. “You take a work of art and leave a work of art.”
The best public art reaches even the most remote regions of the community. The “Outside the Box” series of 12 parts of Palm Beach County brought art to Belle Glade and Pahokee with two-dimensional adhesive vinyl wrappers that take on a third dimension after being transferred to traffic light boxes. Palm Beach artist Jonathan Arango, also known as anón, interprets a historical photograph of migrant workers for Farm to Table, consisting of 6,712 triangles – his signature. ¦