Second Look: Tampa Bay Needs a Janet Echelman Installation

Above, Janet Echelman’s Boston installation, As If It Were Already Here. Photo by Bruce Petschek.

Editor’s Note:  AliveTampaBay first published this article on Oct. 26, 2016 calling for a Janet Echelman installation in Tampa Bay.  We’re giving our Readers a Second Look after a report in the Tampa Bay Times says St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman “has urged a public art committee to hire” Echelman to install one of her sculptures at the downtown Pier.  Also see our earlier AliveTampaBay’s recent Q&A with her.

By David R. Wheeler, Editor

London, Prague, Sydney, Amsterdam, Montreal, Vancouver, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, New York City. What’s missing from that list? You guessed it: Tampa Bay. Each of these world-class locales — except for Tampa Bay — has a permanent installation by world-renowned artist Janet Echelman, a Tampa native who was recently honored with an Impact Award by Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts. Her must-be-seen-to-be-believed sculptures tower above some of the world’s biggest and best cities, beckoning visitors, celebrating creativity, and assuring residents that their city prioritizes arts and culture. Back in 2006-07, Tampa had the honor of showcasing an Echelman installation — a set of three-dimensional scrims in the Poe garage on Ashley Street. Now it’s time for a permanent Echelman installation. What does London have that we don’t? Exactly: An Echelman sculpture. To get to know the ingenious Echelman a little better, check out AliveTampaBay’s recent Q&A with her.

echelman-london

Janet Echelman smiles under her London installation in Oxford Circus, London’s busiest pedestrian area. Photo by Ema Peter.

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