Artists across the world are contributing ideas and works of art to help make our built environment more sustainable. In south Florida, improvements to reduce electrical use in building and smart uses of rain water are particularly important. Most art projects are equal parts reality and poetry to remind the public about the need to change and a symbol to tenants or buyers about the environmental concerns of the owner.
If you have more ideas for public art in the West Palm Beach parks, please go online and participate in the “MindMixer” community ideas website. The site is part of the Parks Master Plan for citizen input by consultant GreenPlay.
The City is now exploring the kinds of new public park playgrounds, sports fields and other attributes for the new Spring Training Baseball Park. Since the 1970s, public artists in the United States and around the world have been creating parks and playgrounds. Here are few ideas that might be valuable to the future users. The construction of the ballpark may generate as much as $500,000 for artworks. They can be beautiful, functional and fun.
Two artists in competition for West Palm’s most popular artist: environmental artist Michael Singer and muralist Eduardo Mendieta. I think that Singer has the lead with two works at the Palm Beach Courthouse, the Downtown Waterfront promenade and piers, the new Intracoastal mangrove islands, the Commons Park fountains and shade structures and Howard Park landscape. In the next couple of years, his shoreline mango planters will appear in the Intracoastal and his design elements for the energy regeneration facility on the edge of Fresh Waters. His design for the wall between Howard Park and the Convention Center is still possible.
Michael Singer maintains design studios in Delray Beach and Burlington, Vermont. His associate, Jason Bregman, participated in the Public Art Think Tank for West Palm Beach in December.
In 2003-2004 the City of West Palm Beach redesigned the,130 acre Dreher Park, to improve stormwater capacity and enhance recreation areas. Artist team Jackie Brookner and Angelo Ciotti were commissioned to work on art concepts throughout the park and be part of the Design Team.
Brookner and Ciotti created Elders’ Cove, a landscape complex that includes a fourteen foot biosculpture, that uses wetland plants to filter water in one of the park’s new lakes, a viewing dock, wetland habitats, and sculpted mounds that reclaim excavated soil. Other of their concepts include cypress swamp islands that recall the original Everglades ecosystem of the site, a medicinal garden based on Seminole culture designed in consultation with Seminole elders, and native plant restoration.
“For humans to survive, ecological artist Jackie Brookner says it is not enough to change the ways we fuel, feed, entertain and shelter ourselves. Something much more basic has to happen. We need to mainstream a different understanding of who we are, as individuals and as a species. She calls this “the being of human,” and says it is about the “verbing” of our existence.”