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Artists prepare to pitch roundabout sculptures

On Tuesday, the city’s Public Art Committee will hear three presentations on proposed artwork for a roundabout at Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 27, 2016
  • Sarasota
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As the members of the Public Art Committee prepare to select a sculpture to place in the center of a roundabout at Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard, one outside assessment of the three finalists is less than glowing.

“I pass that intersection everyday,” City Commissioner Susan Chapman wrote in an email to City Manager Tom Barwin. “All I can say is, I will be embarrassed every single day if any of these designs are accepted.”

Eventually, the City Commission will have the opportunity to officially pass judgment on the artwork proposals. Before that, however, the Public Art Committee will meet Tuesday to interview the three finalists culled from a list of 162 submissions.

The finalists will each have 45-minute presentations in front of the PAC before the advisory board makes its final recommendation. The public will have the opportunity to offer input before a vote is held.

The PAC’s final selection will be presented to the City Commission in December — but if other commissioners agree with Chapman, there’s no guarantee the committee’s preferred artwork will be erected in the roundabout next year.

“The City Commission has the right to say yes or no, because they control the purse strings,” said David Smith, the city’s general manager of neighborhood and development services. “They have final approval.” 

Here's a look at the three finalists:

Jorge Blanco,
Jorge Blanco, "BRAVO!"


Brad Connell,
Brad Connell, "Horizon"


“Unity” — Nnamdi Okonkwo
“Unity” — Nnamdi Okonkwo



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