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Public art commissions announced for the Pier

Bill DeYoung



Artist's rendering of Nathan Mabry's sculpture at the Entry Plaza (City of St. Petersburg).

Although the jury’s still out on the Janet Echelman “floating sculpture,” the city’s Pier Public Art Committee has decided on the three artists whose work will be installed on the new pier, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

Via the Percentage for Art ordinance, the city will pay out a total of $480,000 for these commissions:

A bridge red “origami”-style pelican by Los Angeles sculptor Nathan Mabry. The artist’s coated-steel work will be installed in the Entry Plaza area of the pier;

Work by Nick Ervink

A piece to be determined by Belgian sculptor, architect and designer Nicki Ervinck, for a “TBD” spot at the Pier Head;

A tile mosaic on the Spa Beach Pavilion, created by fiber artist Xenobia Bailey of New York City.

More than 70 artists from around the globe applied for the pier commissions. The Pier Public Art Committee narrowed the field to six finalists, from which the three were chosen.

The commission still has to vote on Tampa native Echelman’s colorful, LED-illuminated “floating sculpture,” which would be installed near Spa Beach. The $3 million, 400-foot-long sculpture would be constructed of the same tough-but-pliable material as astronaut space suits, and would therefore “billow” gently in the wind.

In her January presentation, Echelman told the city the piece would be approximately 15 feet off the ground, anchored by pylons.

A decision on whether that project will move forward will be made in the next few weeks.

For additional information, visit the Pier website at


Artist’s rendering of Janet Echelman’s $3 million “floating sculpture” (City of St. Petersburg).

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