Bird of Paradise

Submitted by Curtis Pittman

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Client: Hillsborough County - Tampa, Florida

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $165,000

Project Team

Structural Engineer

Alex Grummel

Grummel Engineering

Fabrication

Harold Combs

Night Owl Hall LLC

Lighting

Nathanael Jenkins

Beatrox

Overview

Viewed from the sky above, you will quickly notice that much of Florida’s developed landscape is interspersed with both man‐made and natural bodies of water. These bodies of water are a necessary resource to sustain population growth as well as maintain a healthy ecosystem. A large part of this ecosystem is the spectacular assemblage of tropical birds. The peninsular nature of your state makes it the ideal stop for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway creating one of the birding world’s most preeminent destinations.
Prominently situated in the SE corner of Carrollwood Village Park, the sculpture I have designed appears to have graciously landed from above. Adjacent to the water’s edge, this perfect site location provides a wonderful backdrop for a bird‐like form. Visible from great distances, visitors will be enamored by the scale and elegant beauty of the work. Meandering through the parks winding paths will offer varied perspectives, enhancing the kinetic qualities of the design. Visceral reactions of joy and wonder will be experienced by those whom explore the art more closely, attracting visitors to further explore the art for themselves.

Goals

Destined to become the newly discovered landmark to the Carrollwood community, the sculpture will be known as a key contribution to your overall urban plan. Its unique form will strengthen the parks identity, while also enhancing a visitor’s connection to the surrounding natural world. The work is an iconic tribute to the importance of wildlife and ecological sustainability. It brings awareness, and is a natural symbol of life.

Process

My implementation process for an art project of this magnitude is highly efficient, as I am intimately involved with all facets of my design, fabrication, and installation. I work with a highly‐qualified team of consultants, and produce all of my own shop drawings for fabrication. I also have a close‐nit relationship with my steel fabricator, whom is my father‐in‐law. This ensures an artwork that is of utmost quality and craftsmanship.

This is the first project where I have integrated kinetic LED lighting scenarios. A collaboration between myself and creative technologist, Nathanael Jenkins, has resulted in my most dynamic, thought-provoking work to date. Nathan’s passion for the built environment involves both art and innovation. He is highly skilled in bringing creative ideas to life by exploring the intersection between interactive technology and experiential environments. Our professional skill sets are well paired resulting in a synergistic artistic process. The expressive forms that I design and fabricate are made dynamic and evolving through Nathan’s mastery in kinetic, generative, and interactive technologies.

Additional Information

The current photos and video content were taken shortly after the installation. We are currently working on perimeter landscaping around the sculpture area with native Floridian plant species. This will help integrate the sculpture more naturally while also providing a shroud for the up-lighting and sculpture footings.