Holden Heights Community Center - CODAworx

Holden Heights Community Center

Submitted by Stephanie Gassman

Client: Orange County Government

Location: Orlando, FL, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team


Stephanie Gassman

Public Art Agent

Terry Olson, Director

Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs


C,T. HSU + Associates, P.A.


The art is a wood wall relief (3’ 6” H X 10’ W X 5” D), and was commissioned for a large classroom off the lobby entrance of the new Holden Heights Community Center.


As well as being sensitive to the changing multi-racial and multi-generational members,
the art needed to spur a “pride of place” and be an inspiration for residents. The title (a quote
by Danny Kaye) is “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can”.
It is a rather colorful way to express the idea that every member of the community should take advantage of the world of opportunities available through this center. The story begins on the left with a little history, and “Life” is being squeezed out of a paint tube, creating a twisting trail
throughout the entire work. William H. Holden, the namesake of the area, is featured on a horse roping his cattle. The art continues on to represent leisure activities, state programs and
educational services. The flowing paint of “Life” turns into a paintbrush, leading to a canvas-like shape illustrating the most important element in this art … the diversity of the
Holden Heights community.


I spent a lot of time talking to several residents about their neighborhood, and what they would like to see happen at this new facility. The director, Claudette Grubbs, was extremely helpful in all matters, especially with existing programs. The staff at the Orange County History Center and the Orlando Public Library provided mounds of information.

Additional Information

The beautiful setting for this facility surrounds a small lake – perfect for family and community events. I sincerely enjoyed the interaction with this community, and creating art they could relate to, and be proud of.