Outdoor sculptures and exhibitions placed in highly visible, high-traffic areas help beautify cities, inspire residents, and support great artists, and if you’re a fan of public art, Orlando is one big open-air gallery. Public art also serves as a reflection of the community’s cultural, recreational, and intellectual pursuits, and the pieces dotting the urban landscapes of “The City Beautiful” are no exception. To help you put together a personal tour, here we highlight the best public art pieces in Orlando, Florida.
Astrogenesis II by Wendy Ross is a towering, spriraling metal sculpture located at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Designed as an homage to the botanical world and energetic manifestation, like a flower turning towards sunlight, Astrogenesis II is a 30-foot steel structure that’s delicate enough to sway with the slightest breeze. The 12 triangular “florets” and springy sphere at the top are brought to life by a series of LED lights, making this piece of public art particularly striking at night.
Cedar of Lebanon
The Cedar of Lebanon sculpture by local artist Jacob Harmeling is just one of the things that make Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando so great. Created as a reflection of Orlando’s natural beauty and cultural diversity, Cedar of Lebanon is an abstract metal sculpture that’s more than three stories tall. Each night the tree, which features a trunk and branches made of hand-bent sprinkler pipes and leaves made of stainless steel, is lit from within with LED lights of ever-changing colors.
Centered is an impressive public art installation in downtown Orlando, standing 25 feet tall in the city’s downtown district as testament to the city’s reputation as a center for fun, memorable experiences. Designed by C.J. Rench, Centered is comprised of eight different pieces, each of varying width and color, so the sculpture seems to change shape when you change your viewing angle. The individual arching forms sit in balance with the sculpture’s kinetic yellow certerpiece, a tribute to Orlando’s sunny weather, which is able to move freely in the wind.
Monument in Right Feet Major
Another piece of wonderful public art at Lake Eola Park is Monument in Right Feet Major by Todji Kurtzman. Inspired by New York City skyscrapers and aspiring young artists, this abstract sculpture of a human form is grounded with two right feet and gets smaller as your eyes move towards the torso and determined-looking, downturned head.
Muse of Discovery
Located near Rosalind Avenue in downtown Orlando, The Muse of Discovery by Meg White is a 40-foot earthwork and limestone sculpture of a woman reclining on a grass bed. She is covered with a shrub blanket as she looks at an open hand, which many people sit in for a fun photo, making it one of the few truly interactive pieces of public art in Orlando.
One of the best, and most iconic, works of public art in Orlando, Florida is Take Flight by Douwe Blumberg. Displayed along the banks of Lake Eola, Take Flight is a gravity-defying scene of a flock of beautiful, soaring birds made from cast alloy. It’s been called a testament to having a free spirit and celebrating the many beautiful, though passing, moments of life.
One of the best public art pieces in Orlando is Union by Ralfonso Gschwend, located in Lake Eola Park. Union is an abstract kinetic sculpture comprised of six 25-feet steel aluminum poles that are fixed with 30 curved, rotating, and intersecting wings, which easily move with the slightest breeze, at their top. Since the sculpture is constantly moving in unpredictable ways, Union never appears the same way twice.