Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

Realistic sculptures sprout in historic downtown Plant City

PLANT CITY — Take a seat on the bench next to the Sidewalk Judge.

He's one of eight life-sized sculptures that dot Plant City's historic downtown, an exhibit on loan through July.

The Plant City Photo Archives & History Center will unveil the "Man on the Street" collection at 11 a.m. today at the Union Station Welcome Center, 102 N Palmer St.

Just look for the iconic sailor smooching a nurse, a sculpture created from the 1945 photograph of a Times Square celebration at the end of World War II.

The ceremony will feature speaker Harrison Covington, a sculptor and former fine arts dean at the University of South Florida.

Created by New Jersey artist J. Seward Johnson, the sculpture collection came to Plant City through a $10,000 historic preservation grant from Hillsborough County. Plant City chipped in a $5,000 community redevelopment grant, and the Arts Council of Plant City sponsored a sculpture for $1,000.

Also included in the exhibit: A farmer holding a pitchfork alongside his daughter, a likeness of the famous American Gothic painting.

Volunteers positioned the eight 700-pound sculptures around McCall Park. Maps will be available at Union Station and the Plant City Photo Archives & History Center.

Photo Archives executive director Gil Gott said he hopes to extend the exhibit through August for the Republican National Convention.

The on-loan sculptures coincide with a visiting Smithsonian exhibit, "Journey Stories," at the Photo Archives starting May 26.

Stephanie Wang, Times staff writer

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