I am currently spearheading a new public art project for the The Green ARTery-Perimeter Trail along the Hillsborough River through the urban neighborhoods of Tampa, Florida. We are creating of a series of Glass Art / Terrazzo Benches, which will provide Public Seating along a 22 mile nature loop trail through the historic heart of the city.
The GreenARTery is a grassroots organization that works with public and private sector organizations and neighborhood communities to connect the Hillsborough River community green spaces and parks to existing greenways and trails systems appropriate for all ages and abilities.
My proposal - GreenARTery Benches - is among the first privately funded public art projects to gain approval and awarded a preliminary Individual Artists Grant by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County to begin work. We will involve several community groups including the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, Urban ARTAttack, Friends of the River, area businesses and will employ a staff of regional artists.
The project will benefit the region in countless ways by encouraging neighbors to work together with area non-profit organizations to link 24 Central Tampa communities in a loop of new pedestrian and bicycle trails under the shaded paths and parks through the City, Tampa Bay and meandering along both banks of the Hillsborough River.
The seating will be a series of sculptural concrete benches with embedded art glass surface designs incorporated into a colorful terrazzo finish.
For more than thirty years, I have created glass art and inspirational sculptures for public enjoyment. It began in my Tampa Studio and has spread across the state... and beyond. Terrazzo is an ancient art form utilized in crafting beautiful flooring, furniture and structures from crushed stone, shells, glass and cement. Its sparkling colors, styles and textures stimulate the mind. The inclusion of my art glass into the terrazzo will bring another creative element and an unexpected dimension to a traditional material, thus rejuvenating this lost craft into a modern translation of contemporary art utilized as restful, meditative public seating, which will withstand the elements of time, for generations to come.
The art glass components will be created in my Phoenix Glass Studio, located within Tampa's historic neighborhood of Seminole Heights with local business sponsorship from Steward-Mellon (a Tampa-based company specializing in premium terrazzo flooring and public art) who has generously agreed to support this project by committing to fabricate the first three benches.
Through this collaboration and in-kind donation, we intend to design and deliver as many Unique Bench Sculptures as funding will allow.
Our ambitious goal is to raise $15,000 - and we need your help.
With every donation - large or small - you will be rewarded with one of my unique, hand made, heirloom pieces of fine art as a way to show my personal appreciation of your kind generosity.
In addition to supporting local artists and craftsmen, your donations will further go to help create community interaction, new friendships and ultimately encourage cultural understanding and tolerance in our diverse community by providing places of rest, respite and relaxation, emphasizing the natural beauty of Tampa and enhance public spaces with beautiful art along the perimeter trail in the beating heart of one of America's most vibrant cities.
For more information about the Green ARTery, click here.