Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo panel wants Ohio studio to install art at new community center

Kessler Studios, whose mosaic artwork is pictured above, was picked by a selection panel to install mosaics at the new community center. Largo commissioners will discuss the issue again Feb. 16.

Courtesy of Kessler Studios

Kessler Studios, whose mosaic artwork is pictured above, was picked by a selection panel to install mosaics at the new community center. Largo commissioners will discuss the issue again Feb. 16.

When the call to artists went out this fall, the response was vast.

More than 100 artists from across the country sent in resumes and work samples to the city of Largo, hoping to be hired to create the artwork to adorn the city's planned cultural center.

The commission would be worth $100,000, 1 percent of the center's $10 million budget.

The best of the bunch was presented to city commissioners Tuesday night: Kessler Studios, a mural design firm from Loveland, Ohio.

But like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder. Commissioners' reactions were mixed, and they voted to table the issue until their next meeting on Feb. 16.

According to those on the selection committee that picked the winner of the bid — some of them local artists themselves — the firm's resume and past work embodied not just the physical requirements of the job, but sparked that je ne sais quoi that gives an installation universal appeal.

Or as city parks and recreation director Joan Byrne described what the consensus was on the firm's work: "vibrant, youthful, joyful."

Mayor Patricia Gerard said the renderings presented weren't detailed enough for her to reach a firm conclusion.

Commissioner Gigi Arntzen questioned why the art wasn't coming from a local artist.

The answer, said Byrne: none from Largo submitted bids, and very few came in from Florida.

Commissioners Robert Murray and Curtis Holmes, however, were simply not sold on the idea of adding an expensive installation to the building.

"Art is in the eye of the beholder. I questioned this project from the beginning," Holmes said. "I said from the beginning I'd rather get Highland Rec fixed than do this project at all."

Vice Mayor Woody Brown, however, felt that the art committee's opinion should be all the city needs to proceed.

A cardboard mock-up of the art was presented to commissioners, revealing a design that stretches along the side of the community center for 35 feet, the base moving along the building like a river, and spires of glass reaching up 14 feet like branches of trees.

A second panel would carry along another wall for 18 feet, evoking a similar motif.

Byrne said she would contact the studio to come up with more detailed renderings so commissioners could more deeply deliberate art that would likely be around for as long as the new community center.

Dominick Tao can be reached at (727) 580-2951 or [email protected]

Largo panel wants Ohio studio to install art at new community center 02/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man charged in hit-and-run crash that killed bicyclist on I-4 exit ramp in Tampa

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A 44-year-old Tampa was arrested and charged Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist earlier in the day.

    Christopher Jerimiah Cole, 44, of Tampa was driving this silver Mercedes on Wednesday when it struck a bicyclist on the exit ramp from eastbound Interstate 4 to southbound U.S. 301, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Cole kept driving, troopers said. The bicyclist, a 45-year-old Brandon man, died at the scene. His name was not immediately released because troopers were working to notify his family. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  2. Quarterbacks, head coach targeting Vernon Hargreaves; 'I'm not producing,' he says

    Bucs

    Eli Manning gathered his receivers together during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and informed them of the weakest link of the secondary he planned to target that afternoon.

    Quarterbacks this season have a 128.7 rating when targeting Vernon Hargreaves. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Rick Baker's radio ad said Rick Kriseman missed NAACP event---but he didn't.

    Blogs

    A radio ad narrated by St. Petersburg civil rights activist Sevell Brown and paid for by a political-action committee supporting Rick Baker asserts that Mayor Rick Kriseman "couldn't be bothered to show up" for a recent NAACP event.

    Rick Kriseman didn't skip recent NAACP event, but Rick Baker radio ad claims he did
  4. Demolition begins on wing of Channelside Bay Plaza, making way for Water Street Tampa (w/video)

    Business

    TAMPA — The original developers of Channelside Bay Plaza at first wanted the name of the complex to include the word "Garrison." That would have fit, because the center turned out to be fort-like, inwardly focused and unwelcoming.

    A pedestrian bridge in the southwest wing of Channelside Bay Plaza was demolished in Tampa on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. [Gabriella Angotti-Jones  | Times]
  5. Police: North Tampa woman fatally stabs live-in boyfriend

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa woman faces a charge of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her live-in boyfriend early Wednesday morning.