Platform Art

PUBLIC ART PROJECT / 2018

LINEMEN PROJECT

TRIBUTE to Linemen

Platform Art created this sculpture to recognize the utility industry and a linemen’s role as a first-responder. In collaboration with the Polk County School Board, this public art project provided an opportunity for student artists to work with a professional sculptor and display their completed art.

Sculpture designers:
Angel Mitchell, Gabby Thomas, Maddie McDaniel from Lakeland High School
Location: Lakeland Electric HQ, Lake Mirror
Installed: June, 2018

featured artist: BECKY AULT

Becky Ault is co-Founder of A.R.T. Research Enterprises Inc., a full service Conservation and Foundry Fine Art Facility. AR was established in 1976, incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1981, and today still provides high-end professional fabrication design and production services, upholding the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice set forth by the AIC. She also co-founded Art Design Group, organized to design public sculptures and accept commissions while providing a turn-key product.

About the Project

INSPIRATION into REALITY

Electric lineworkers are often the first of first-responders, especially in times of natural disaster, but their crucial role is rarely recognized. Public tributes are few and far between, making Lakeland’s sculpture distinctive. But it is all the more so because Tribute to Linemen exemplifies Platform Art’s commitment to offering student artists opportunities to work in the public realm. The piece was designed by three local high school students, and their design brought to life by artist Becky Ault and her fabrication studio.

Workshops and artistic development are a vital part of Platform Art’s student engagement. Ault and their art teacher worked closely with the girls at each stage of the process – refining ideas, designs, and models. Maddie, Gabby, and Angel won our county-wide competition (held at Platform Kids) with their design. Not only did they get to work with Ault through workshops, they actually traveled to her studio. They assisted side-by-side with professional artists, seeing new techniques and materials, and, for the first time, foundry metalworking. They visited places they’d never been – from a forge to an art college to an historic B&B. You can view their travels in the accompanying photos and videos of the experience. But, more importantly, this unique experience opened Maddie, Gabriella, and Angel’s eyes to new opportunities for themselves. Today all three have graduated and are taking college courses.

Along with partners Lakeland Electric, Polk County Schools, the City of Lakeland, and so many more, we unveiled the sculpture in 2018 and added a commemorative plaque the following year. We couldn’t have made this project happen without our community partners and generous supporters, and we are so grateful to every one. Grants from the State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, support from UWUA chapters across the country, and a public campaign right here in Lakeland all made our work possible. See below for more info on these incredible donors.

Standing at over 12 feet tall and nearly as wide, Tribute to Linemen makes a statement both at a distance and up close. The stainless steel orb catches light off of Lake Mirror, and the drop pieces throw shifting shadows. The figure and detail of the lineman, as well as the figures among the drops, are only clear as one draws closer. Likewise the description: “The strength of one will energize many and be a light of hope.” This sculpture, which was inspired by a local lineman who lost his life on the job, stands as an important, permanent recognition of the work of linemen, our reliance on their work, and their significant impact on our community.

UTILITY WORKERS UNION of America

Local 1-2, New York NY  •  Local 101, Jackson MI  •  Local 103, Muskegon MI • Local 104, Saginaw MI
Local 105, Royal Oak MI  •  Local 106, Battle Creek MI • Local 107, Grand Rapids MI  •  Local 119, Flint/Howell MI
Local 123, Lansing MI • Local 124, Ludington MI  •  Local 129, Alma MI  •  Local 144, Bay City MI
Local 150, Kalamazoo MI  •  Local 223, Dearborn MI  •  Local 253, Owosso MI • Local 254, Macomb MI
Local 257, Hastings MI  •  Local 258, Adrian MI • Local 261, Greenville MI  •  Local 270, Cleveland OH
Local 347, Traverse City MI • Local 358, Marion MI  •  Local 388, Campbell MI  •  Local 564, Midland MI
Local 18007, Chicago IL  •  MI State Utility Workers Council, Charlotte MI

SUPPORT provided by
GiveWell Community Foundation

Carol and Barney Barnett Fund
George W. Jenkins Fund
William E. (Ed) Rumph, III Fund
Rita and Donald Selvage Family Fund

LEADERSHIP gifts
Citizens Bank & Trust
Tom and Sally Petcoff
Esmeralda Piscatoula
UWUA Local 369
Walmart Store 1245
PUBLIC ART campaign donors

Kathryn & Bruce Abels
Sue Bentley
Jon & Christine Boring in memory of Jesse Boring
Stevie Buck
Jean & David Bunch

Xuchitl & Nick Coso
Celeste Deardorff
Julianne & Nathan Dunham
Cynthia Haffey
Victoria Lowe
Michael Maguire
Alana W. Minear
E. Snow Martin, Jr.
Tracy Moore in memory of Marc Moore
Sheila & Carlton Phelps
John Pitts
Victor Prebor
Beatty & Maurice Raymond
Cappie & Phillip Walker
And special thanks to
Amanda Frankel Brice • Pam De Maria • Denise Freeman • Michael Handley • Trudy & Larry Rankin • Nancy Haffey Talton
PUBLIC ART campaign donors
Kathryn & Bruce Abels
Sue Bentley
Jon & Christine Boring in memory of Jesse Boring
Stevie Buck
Jean & David Bunch
Xuchitl and Nick Coso
Celeste Deardorff
Julianne & Nathan Dunham
Cynthia Haffey
Victoria Lowe
Michael Maguire
Alana W. Minear
E. Snow Martin, Jr.
Tracy Moore in memory of Marc Moore
Sheila & Carlton Phelps
John Pitts
Victor Prebor
Beatty & Maurice Raymond
Cappie & Phillip Walker

PLATFORM ART

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