Platform Art is excited to announce plans for its next public art project in Lakeland. A sculpture design representing the sense of sound will be created and installed in the sensory garden of Bonnet Springs Park. The design and project plans were unveiled at a “Sensory Salon” art party on September 15, 2019.

Platform Art

Executive Director Cynthia Haffey presented an overview of the project, initial design concepts, and a timeframe for completion, as well as fundraising goals.

In keeping with Platform Art’s goal of providing opportunities for student artists to display professional work, the sensory sculpture project was launched in early 2019 as a collaboration with All Saints Academy and NuVu Innovation Studio. Students in the program created and submitted designs representing the five senses, from which one design was selected for the first sculpture.

The sound sculpture designed by ASA student artists Laura Prazdnicane and Lucy Zhang will be fabricated by Becky Ault and Mike Cunningham of ART Research Enterprises, Inc. Made of stainless steel, the sculpture will feature a curved wall, to be covered in natural vines or plants, with a top section of gently falling bangles and rain tubes to feature the sense of sound.

This project fulfills another Platform Art goal to develop site-specific public art,” said Haffey. Art ideally fits within its environment, sensitive to space, size, and surroundings.”

All Saints Academy teachers TJ Woolford and Asli Arpak, along with NuVu Fellow Ray Majewski and Program Coordinator Kristina Osborn, led the student studio sessions and presentations. Final concept selection was made by Platform Art and ART Enterprises. Talking with the students, Cunningham explained that public sculptures require consideration of budget, public interaction/theft, and liability, in addition to artistic merit. Ault has recommended modifications to accommodate these issues, by shortening the hedge wall, providing anchoring to the ground, and increasing overall stability.

Landscape architect Anna Cawrse of Sasaki Group, which is working with Bonnet Springs Park, will plan site-specific foliage for the sculpture to enhance the sensory experience. Plans are for the park’s sensory garden to eventually feature five sculptures, each representing a human sense.

ART Research Enterprises, Inc., located in Lancaster, PA, has been a leading producer of fine art castings and fabrication for more than 40 years. Ault said, Our relationship with Platform Art truly is a platform for student artists and professional sculptors to network and make creative ideas into reality.” The two organizations previously developed Lakeland’s “Tribute to Linemen” sculpture, designed by three Lakeland High School students and installed in 2017.

Timeline for the sound sculpture includes video conferencing critiques between the student and professional artists, followed by a student trip to Lancaster to participate in the casting and actual fabrication of the sculpture. Shipping and installation of the completed project is scheduled for July 2020. This will allow time for the hedge wall to grow prior to the opening of Bonnet Springs Park.

Platform Art’s fundraising goal to complete the sound sculpture is $150,000. Grant funding is being pursued, but private philanthropy will be necessary to meet the goal. Proceeds from the September 15th sensory salon and December 7th Artful Bowl are designated for the project. Haffey added, recognizing the talent and vision of student artists, working with nationally-known professionals from ART, has been especially rewarding. I hope the community will embrace the project and its significance as public art.”

Platform Art, Inc., a non-profit cultural arts organization, is a community-conscious collaboration of artisans and art lovers whose ultimate goal is to showcase new and exciting talent in the fields of visual arts, film, fashion, music and performance. Its mission is to enrich communities by providing forums for art experiences and supporting the creation of public art.