Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Realistic sculptures sprout in historic downtown Plant City

Eight sculptures by J. Seward Johnson, including this one modeled after the iconic photograph taken at the end of World War II, will dot downtown at least through July.

The Sculpture Foundation

Eight sculptures by J. Seward Johnson, including this one modeled after the iconic photograph taken at the end of World War II, will dot downtown at least through July.

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

"My art is an imitation of life. (The sculptures) do many things: They can warm up ... a park or a public space, and they invite people to come into that space so that they don't feel quite alone. They also make good neighbors; they don't make a lot of noise."

J. Seward Johnson

Realistic sculptures sprout in historic downtown Plant City 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)