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Public Art Update

Florida, A Seminole Girl. Sculpture by Nilda Comas.

Florida, A Seminole Girl, a bronze sculpture by Nilda Comas.

Florida - A Seminole Girl

Florida, A Seminole Girl, a bronze sculpture by Nilda Comas, was unveiled in March at Stranahan Landing in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The monument was commissioned in celebration of the enduring presence of the Seminole People of Florida, and celebrating the anniversary of 500 years of Florida. It is located directly across from the historic Stranahan house on the south banks of the New River and is a collaborative project of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Venetian Arts Society, sculptor Nilda Comas and benefactor A.J. Acker.

In January, the Venetian Arts Society hosted a fundraiser for the Seminole Girl Sculpture Project: FLORIDA, celebrating our state’s 500th Anniversary. The sculpture shows a Seminole Girl dancing while holding palmetto leaves. It features a baby alligator and an Everglades dancing crane on its base.

The challenge of maintaining the unique Seminole culture while operating in the mainstream economy is the priority for today’s Seminole Tribe of Florida. They work hard to be economically independent. To do this, they’ve jumped into a number of different industries. Tourism and bingo profits pay for infrastructure and schools on their reservations, while citrus groves and cattle have replaced early 20th-century trade in animal hides and crafts as the tribe’s primary revenue sources.

While becoming more economically diverse, the Seminoles also maintain respect for the old ways. Some still live in open, palm-thatched dwellings called chickees, wear clothing that is an evolution of traditional styles and some celebrate the passing of the seasons just as their ancestors did more than two centuries ago. They also visit schools and festivals across the state, performing traditional dance and music to share their history with non- Indians.

Today, more than 2,000 live on six reservations in the state - located in Hollywood, Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee, Fort Pierce and Tampa.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has given 50 percent of the cost of the sculpture and the City of Fort Lauderdale is donating the land to create a permanent work of art for the 500th Anniversary of Florida. Children from the Seminole Tribe will be creating 500 colorful ceramic tiles depicting Florida’s flora and fauna. These 500 tiles will be sold for $100 each for the remaining 50 percent of the cost and will be installed on the base of the sculpture and its surroundings. This part of the project will celebrate our 500-year anniversary, while building a tribute to Seminole culture.


Glory and Defeat

Glory and Defeat - Mural by Ruben Ubiera

In May, the artwork Glory and Defeat was completed at the new library located at Central Broward Regional Park in the City of Lauderhill. Commissioned though Broward Cultural Division’s Public Art & Design Program, the artwork of artist Ruben Ubiera enhances the overall concept of Central Broward Regional Park, comprised of a Broward County branch library, a Performing Arts Center as well as the first ever cricket stadium in the U. S.

Ubiera zeroed right in on the juxtaposition of sports field in the outer areas of the park and readers, knowledge seekers and arts enthusiasts on the inside areas and decided on a theme, "winning over adversaries" with two conceptual female characters, Lady "Glory" and Madame "Defeat," as his muses.

The artwork, created on three walls of the building that contains the library and the new Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, Glory and Defeat might be considered a combination collage and mural, as it uses objects that Ubeira was given by the library, a book with clippings about events in the area through the years. The artist worked it into the mural, in order to revere and represent the community. Newspaper clippings about a Venus Williams’ sighting, a Lauderhill resident running for office and the media story about the bid for the sports park in their community, create a timeline of history and may evoke unified pride.

Spatial - Sculpture by William Gaterman

Spatial Crimson Meteor - William Gaterman at Government Center West

Dominican Republic born Ruben Gerardo Ubiera Gonzalez is a neo-figurative artist, known for his strong use of line, graffiti-inspired technique/ aesthetic, urban murals, mixed-media pieces and installations, all created with reclaimed-objects and found artifacts. He paints and draws in a style considered as post-graffism, but he prefers to call it urban-pop. Most of his inspiration is derived from the interactivity between man and his urban environment. He lives in the City of Weston.


Spatial Crimson Meteor Artwork Finds a New Home

Recently, the public artwork Spatial Crimson Meteor was installed at its new home at the Government Center West after three years in storage due to building renovation. Thanks to the collaboration of the staff at the Cultural Division and the Public Works Department, the artwork fits into its new location perfectly.

The artwork, created by artist William Gaterman and originally installed in the Mass Transit Administration Building in 1987, is a sculpture mobile in metal. Gaterman began constructing mobiles in the 1970s. For this one, he fashioned two groupings of eight stainless steel components balancing each other in the style of Alexander Calder. Painted in red with white accent, the mobile is suspended in the lobby of the building.



Broward County Cultural Division
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