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The City Beautiful

Some of you may not know that Orlando uses "The City Beautiful", as, maybe you'd say, a nickname. Sort of like Chicago is "The Windy City", although I don't know if they have that printed on stuff. Certainly we do. Familiarity breeds contempt was something I learned from my parents long ago, and while I don't think I have contempt for Orlando, I certainly am very familiar with our city having lived here nearly 55 years. That said, I'm sure I don't see it in the same way new folks and tourists do. Today, instead of setting up my tent at Lake Eola, I strolled around the whole lake looking at some pretty amazing new public art. Scott Maxwell, one of the few remaining columnists for the Sentinel, wrote this about it today. Say what you will about chain restaurants, but they sure are good community partners; Darden contributed big bucks for this project. Without further ado, let's take a look-see, want to?

For weeks now, this sculpture has been in place across the lake from my space,
and I've been dying to see it up close. Most of the other sculptures have been enclosed with fencing for quite some time now, however, this one has been in glorious view--so very beautiful in person. Continuing my walk, after parking near Matt's old apartment on Broadway Street, I  am struck by how the park looks on a Friday morning, with people strolling, walking dogs, and some folks running, on what is a beautiful weather day, the kind of day the tourist board drools over. You can usually spot the tourists as they are taking photographs, sort of like me. :)

Swans, the park is known for the multitude of swans, as you'll soon see.
Whether or not we're known for our turtles is not for me to answer.
Okay, more swans with the paddle boats fashioned to imitate them.
Why look, it's the Sun Trust tower! The super looking turquoise band shell has just been re-painted. Disney provides the funds for this, one of the few things that I can think of they are involved with inside the city limits. Remind me of others if you think of any.

A few friends posted photos on Facebook of this remarkable sculpture,
which as you can see, is still being planted. All of the new sculptures are interesting, very much so, but none so much as this one of a lady lying on her side with dirt and asiatic jasmine covering her body.
Honestly it is so fantastic I hardly know what else to say, and that's saying a lot, when I run out of words! A little later, on the other side of the lake, a fellow asked me if I'd photographed, "the lady of the lake", which seems like a clever title to me. Because none of the installations are entirely finished, there are no name markers for me to share the details. While I've been typing this an email from Terry Olson, the arts director for Orange County came through,

In the next ten days there are four public art events around Orlando!  You are invited to join me at them.  The visual image of our city is changing rapidly and for the better.  I hope you are excited about it like I am.
Monday, November 11, 10:00 am  Dedication of Red Tails Monument/sculpture outside the cafe at the Orlando Science Center.
Tuesday, November 12, 6:00 pm   Illumination Ceremony for the upgraded Tower of Light at Orlando City Hall, 400 S Orange Ave
Monday, November 18, 5:30 pm    Unveiling party for the eight SeeArt Orlando sculptures starting at Church & Orange with a Lymmo bus to and entertainment at each of the sculptures (but it will be a great night for walking the route).
Tuesday, November 19, 6:00 pm    Unveiling of the Urban Art Museum (outdoor art), 932 N Mills
I hope I’ll see you at one or all of these outdoor events.  Let’s celebrate the beautiful weather, the beautiful art and the  beautiful people that are part of our community!
Posters for all four are attached in the one pdf.
Terry Olson, Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs

with a few more details about all of the exciting events happening in our city. If I am gushing over the lady, I'm still making my mind up about this one.
Perhaps you noticed it across the lake in the first photo? Sitting on Central Avenue, across the street from The Waverly, it, too, was unveiled a few weeks ago. What do you think? 

The installation of this sculpture has wreaked a little havoc with our market loading, and unloading, set as it is where we come into the park every Sunday.
I know I really like this one, even more so now that I can see the base, which has been enclosed with the curtained fencing for a month or more. My booth sits under the tree on the left. Asking the workers what comes next around the base, they were a little sketchy. Although I've seen this same scene below for more than six years, almost every Sunday, it looks so different without all of the vendors. Well, duh, of course it does!
See the ligustrum tree on the left? Bruce ties our tent to it every week. So, how beautiful are the oaks? Beautiful.  Heading along the path to the right, here is one that I'm also still puzzling over.
This too, has been shrouded for weeks. Not only was it hard to photograph, but it's hard to understand what the artist is trying to say. Or, at least it is to me. How about those gigantic feet!
I may not understand the meaning, but I sure can appreciate the movement in the figure, as well as the clothing. Some folks are so talented, it's mind boggling!

Continuing around the lake, past the playground, I knew there was one more I hadn't seen yet. By golly, it was a perfect day to see this one.
What one Gail? Well, the sidewalk is closed while they complete the installation, so I couldn't get the shot I wanted, but here is a little closer shot: 
Wondering why I said it was a perfect day to see it? Those metal wands, or more like rings, if you will, rotate by wind power, which is in abundant supply today. In case you're wondering, this one is on the corner of Eola and Robinson, across from Panera.
Whenever I go to England, I marvel at the trees, however, I've got some pretty spectacular ones in my own backyard don't I?

Remember what I said about the swans? Here's yet another swan reference.
More typical of the art seen heretofore in the park, it is a little baby in comparison to the new pieces! While it's true that 55 million tourists come to our area annually, most never see the real Orlando, instead, spending their hard-earned vacations in the theme park area. In fact, I hear almost weekly from people who do venture downtown how surprised they are by what they see. Sometimes they even say the city is beautiful. 

Well, now it is even more so with the addition of bold, interesting and in some cases, beautiful public art! Thank you, thank you, for both the artists, and those generous folks who made it possible. I hope you enjoyed your "sneak peak."

Oh my gosh, just as I was finishing this up, I notice the two turtles at the base in the above photograph. 

How I love photography!

p.s. I have no idea why on the web the text font changes because it does not for me...
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