Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition Winners Announced

Winners of the 16th Annual Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition have been announced.

Best of Show: “Ribbon of Steel #8 ‘Woman with Child,’" 2010, scrap steel, Michael Russell, Athens, TN.

2nd Place: “Plenum Orb,” 2014, stainless steel assemblage, Donald Gialanella, St. Petersburg, FL. 

Honorable Mention: “Native Homage,” 20115, mild steel and copper, Jason Smith, Hillsborough, NC.

"The three works selected for awards in the sixteenth annual Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition in Lakeland all display the perfect bend of artistry, creativity and craftsmanship,” says Holly Keris, chief curator of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, and this year’s judge.

Most notably, Keris adds, “Woman with Child” by Russell features a curvaceous continuity of metal, delicately balanced, with a graceful gesture. Scrap steel juxtaposes with softness of the flowing lines and the subtle motion of the sculpture. The ribbon embraces itself and the viewer, drawing in on itself protectively while extending toward those nearby, inviting interaction.

Gialanella’s “Plenum Orb” is an assemblage of diverse stainless steel objects including everything from kitchen paraphernalia to hubcaps. The objects, artfully arranged, become a perfect sphere, tightly bound but seamless in the uniformity of its surface.

“Walking around the piece becomes a journey – is that a tea kettle? – with a whimsical sense of discovery,” she says.

Likewise, in Smith’s “Native Homage,” a quirky bird struts in the landscape. Its simplified form belies its craftsmanship and entices a smile, Keris says.

There are 10 sculptures in the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition. They are placed along the Lemon Street Promenade between South Florida Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue in Downtown Lakeland and will remain there for one year.

The Polk Museum of Art worked with the cities of Lakeland, Sebring and Bonita Springs this year to install new sculptures in downtown parks. A committee comprised of community members and Museum staff selects the sculptures for the competition.

An independent judge selects the Best of Show, Second Place and Honorable Mention awards. For more information on the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition, click here.