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Art Commission Is Active in Sanford

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Sanford’s visual-arts scene has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and the City’s Public Art Commission is working diligently to make sure that trend continues.

Sanford’s visual-arts scene has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and the City’s Public Art Commission is working diligently to make sure that trend continues.

In January, commission members took a group tour of downtown Sanford to identify possible sites for future public-art projects. Those projects could include large-scale sculptures, murals, and mosaic installations.

The commission has already given the green light to two mural projects, which were approved last year. One recently completed project features five murals painted on the walls and the roof stack of a building at 2111 South French Avenue (U.S. Highway 17-92). The 1950s-era micro strip-mall houses a barber shop, a tattoo parlor, and a mobile-phone company.

Jennifer Lindquist, who serves as vice chair of the Public Art Commission, was the project’s lead artist. Also participating were artists Jasmine Ramos and Ysabel Flores. The project was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and a $1,000 grant from the Awesome Foundation in Orlando.

“It’s definitely made the area look more interesting,” says Jennifer, who describes her artistic style as modern abstraction. “I got a lot of people driving by and honking and giving me the thumbs up while I was painting.”

The other project approved by the commission will adorn the walls of a former theater on Historic Goldsboro Boulevard. The mural will pay tribute to the history of Goldsboro’s African-American community.

Sanford is also home to other eye-catching examples of public art, including memorial sculptures and work by Paint the Trail artist Jeff Sonksen.

Several dog-themed pieces of art were unveiled at last year’s grand reopening of Paw Park, the city’s off-leash dog park. Jeff and a host of community volunteers painted dog and cat portraits on fence panels, which are on view outside the park. They also painted portraits of dogs from the Sanford Police Department’s K-9 Unit, which are showcased in the center of the park.
Also on display in the park are a pet memorial sculpture, carved from cypress wood by chainsaw artist Mark Rice, and metal dog silhouette sculptures, created by Southern Technical College students and staff.

Another project being discussed by the commission is a mural that – if approved – would be painted in the breezeway of Sanford City Hall.

In addition to Jennifer, the commission’s members are  Virginia Poe, chair; Kim House; Sanford City Commissioner Patty Mahany; Kathryn Townsend; and Reggie Santilli. The city staff liaison is Christine Dalton, a historic preservation officer and community planner.

The Public Art Commission, created by the Sanford City Commission in 2015, meets at 3:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at City Hall, 300 North Park Avenue. Meetings are open to the public. For details, visit SanfordFLgov.


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