Leader’s Row

Submitted by Michael Parker

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Client: City of Tampa

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $315,000

Project Team

Artist

Michael Parker

Architect

Peg Bors

City of Tampa

Overview

Memorial to seven African American Leaders from the historic Central Avenue neighborhood. The portraits are made from multiple layers of hand cut aluminum offset from each other and coated with a two part marine grade epoxy to form the likeness of the individual. They are lit from below and behind with continuous strip LEDs creating a warm glow. The concrete walls were custom designed and poured for this installation and have supporting historical imagery that tells the story of each individual and their contributions to the neighborhood. The imagery is sandblasted into the concrete then stained with monument paint.

Goals

The artwork at Perry Harvey Park is unique and contextual. Four major artworks by four artists work together in an attempt to tell the full and complex story of the abundant contributions of the African American community and Historic Central Avenue.Leadership takes on many forms. Some are forceful and dominant, while others work behind the scenes and offer quiet support and encouragement. Regardless of style, the substance is the same. Motivating, prodding, assisting, nurturing, and even financing the dreams and aspirations of single individuals and whole communities, the men and women featured here provided both a bedrock foundation to build upon and boundless success to strive toward. Each one left their mark on the city and on the lives of those they inspired. Earth walls, sandblasted and stained concrete, hand plasma cut aluminum tell the story of the most influential individuals in the community through images and a Sanborn map. Representations on the wall include: Georgette Gardner, Henry Joyner, Christina Meacham, Moses White, Robert Saunders, Lee Davis, and Garfield Rogers

Process

Artist and city architect collaborated on wall design for fluidity of movement and safety within the installation. Artist and Cutler (general contractor) collaborated on wall fabrication. Artist and Tampa Bay History Center historian collaborated on individual descriptions. Remaining elements completed by artist.

Additional Information

Artist worked for approximately a year with community members to identify the appropriate imagery for the installation