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public art

Courtesy Nathan Sawaya

Last year, visitors to Tampa’s Amalie Arena could "swim" in a million white plastic balls at an interactive exhibit called "The Beach.” 

Now, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is bringing another large-scale public art project to the city.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

As part of WUSF's ongoing look at public art around the Tampa Bay area, we decided to examine a place where about 120 works are scattered over 1,700 acres.

It’s the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus, and we recently joined a Friday lunchtime walking tour that examined a handful of the pieces.

Cathy Carter

Commuting in Tampa Bay can be challenging. Often, drivers can get stuck in traffic and endure plenty of red lights.  But in a few local spots, commuters are seeing those mundane gray signal boxes transformed into colorful, vibrant canvases.

Traffic box art isn't a new thing. They’ve been successful public art projects in cities like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. And now an arts group in Clearwater is jumping on the trend with a signal box public art project called "Thinking Outside The Box." 

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Public art in the Tampa Bay area is not limited to Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg. Heading east to Lakeland, there's an entire organization dedicated to showcasing local artists and bringing art to nontraditional spaces.  Platform Art,  for the last 12 years, has sponsored everything from public monuments to community gardens.

Arts Ambassador Talks Government Support For Public Art

Oct 5, 2016
Artist Larry Kirkland
Craig Collins

Ann Wykell is a consultant to nonprofits and local government on public art.  She's been involved with many public art projects in the Tampa Bay area. 

She developed and managed the art plan for Sarasota National Cemetery’s Patriot Plaza and established St. Petersburg’s first Office of Cultural Affairs. She's currently advising the City of St Petersburg on art selection for the Pier Park project. 

She spoke with WUSF's Lisa Peakes about government support for public art and what makes for effective projects.

Marc Haze / WUSF

It might be that big beautiful mural you pass on the way to work. Or the bike rack that looks like a sculpture.  Public art is all around us in Tampa Bay.

When you walk around your community, are you getting a sense of vibrancy and creativity? If so, that may be because you're experiencing "public art."

Alison Miller

When you think of St. Petersburg, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Time once was that answer was likely to be the Pier or the city’s  famous green benches.

Now, that answer might be murals. In the past few years more than 100 murals have been created and more are arriving all the time.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

WUSF recently launched an occasional series called “Art Populi,” an occasional series that is focusing on public art.

From city murals to street sculptures and free art, we're hoping to shed a new light on the Tampa Bay's art scene.

For our second story, we follow two artists as they abandon their creations in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Quincy Walters/WUSF News

A folk trio played outside of the ARTicles art gallery along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. 

Inside the gallery, St. Pete-based artist Eva Avenue drew portraits of people who stopped in. She said the portraits, which she uses acrylic, colored pencils and pastels, is her own - something she calls "a mixture between realism and feelism". 

Cathy Carter

WUSF is infusing a little fun in our news with an occasional series called “Art Populi.” The aim is to shine a light on Tampa Bay's rich cultural landscape-- and offer a perhaps welcome diversion from the political stories that can dominate during election season.

Our debut collection of stories will focus on public art.  We’ll be reporting on city murals, abandoned art, public art galleries and more.

For our first story-- we traveled to a place in Pinellas County known as "Whimzeyland."

Cathy Carter/WUSF

Have you ever walked down a street  in an eclectic neighborhood, a college campus or in the heart of a city's downtown and seen something that caught your eye? Perhaps it was a piece of public art.

In a few weeks, WUSF News is starting an occasional series called “Art Populi.” We’ll be reporting from counties around the Tampa Bay area on whimsical houses, public art galleries, abandoned art, city murals and more.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

You’re probably familiar with the sounds of downtown Sarasota -- traffic, birds chirping by Sarasota Bay. Now there’s a new sound in the mix: pianos.

Earlier this month, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County debuted the Sarasota Keys Piano Project.