The initiative is meant to make the downtown area even more attractive and provide a way to use public artwork as a photo opportunity and marketing tool. The premise is that the art displays will encourage residents and visitors to stroll throughout the City. More frills included installing QR codes on each sculpture. The codes link to information about a particular artist or the meaning of the artwork as well as locations of city landmarks.
The entire concept is like outdoor art events in other cities that bring together artists’ creativity with a sculptural icon that relates to the city. In Dade City’s case, its official seal has a heart shape surrounded by kumquats in its center.
City leaders expressed enthusiasm and support for the public art project. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Shive said, “I think art’s a great thing. It’s a great motivator for the young people. I think it’s going to be great to have art in Dade City.” Mayor Camille Hernandez added, “We look forward to seeing it come to fruition and just adding that creative touch and some excitement for the town.”
Dade City staffers are likewise very supportive of the installation of public art objects, said Melanie Romagnoli, the City’s Community and Economic Development Director. Romagnoli said that “for the locations within our CRA [Community Redevelopment Agency] as well as in our comprehensive plan for the entire city, public art is encouraged as part of an attraction, as a destination for people to come visit.”
By Angie Guy, City of Dade City
The City of Dade City, population 7,402, is located in Pasco County.