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A pair of California artists assembled a new, outdoor sculpture at the corner of Keller Road and Fennell Street on Maitland’s west side.
The public artwork funded by the I-4 Ultimate roadway improvement project is inspired by Florida’s state flower, the orange blossom, and features 5, 18-foot-tall stainless steel flower petals surrounding a central sphere that will shimmer with light at night along with 15 glowing stamens.
Artists Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden, who were selected from a group of project finalists to create a unique and colorful public display within a short distance of Interstate 4, spent months crafting the sculpture at their studio in Richmond, California, near San Francisco. They are trained as architects and landscape architects. Together, they have completed more than two dozen outdoor sculptures for communities around the United States.
Each of the 5 large petals were formed from long steel poles that were curved and welded into place, almost resembling the veins within a plant leaf. The petals were created with seating to allow visitors to sit within the huge orange blossom. Ten laser-etched metal plaques will be installed around the base of the sculpture with informative facts about oranges and Florida citrus.
The sculpture pieces were loaded onto a truck in California and transported across the country, arriving in Maitland Tuesday morning.
The artists carefully guided a construction crew to lift the heavy pieces into the air and to place them onto a preset concrete foundation, which is located near the Maitland Ballfield Complex, the Police Department and the Public Works Department. A portion of Maitland’s recreational trail system is adjacent to the sculpture site. Work on the project will continue through the rest of the week.
Funding was provided by the I-4 Ultimate Project Art Endowment Committee, which includes I-4 Mobility Partners, the Florida Department of Transportation and the construction joint venture of Skanska Granite Lane (SGL Constructors). A total of $1.5 million was awarded to the City of Orlando, Orange County, the Town of Eatonville, Winter Park, Maitland, and Altamonte Springs to create public art installations along a 21-mile stretch of Interstate 4.
The City of Maitland received $200,000, which covered the artwork and installation costs. More than 130 artists applied for consideration, and a five-person committee of Maitland representatives interviewed a small group of finalists to recommend Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden to the City Council.