Giant butterflies could permanently fly in Solary Park if a proposal for a butterfly-themed art sculpture is approved by Oviedo’s Public Art Board.
Unofficially titled “Wings of Joy,” the proposed sculpture consists of four to five butterflies, including the zebra longwing, which is the Florida state butterfly. Although a majority of city commissioned art are murals and paintings, this project would consist of large metal butterflies, along with informational signs that describe the significance of each.
The project is in its earliest stages and has not been approved by the board. “This project is not locked down yet and it’s not a for-sure thing,” board member Caryn Daham said. “We’re still in the discovery phase.”
One of the project’s goals is to provide an opportunity for the community to interact with the art, so the material of the butterflies is designed to be reflective, similar to the Chicago Bean, artist Diane Gillett Boswell said. The reflectivity would allow the community to take photos of themselves in the butterfly.
“People love taking photographs of themselves in front of things,” Boswell said. “It’s nice to have something that people can interpret in their own way.”
Additionally, Boswell sees the project as a chance for people to be immersed in a positive experience. She explained that the project should be similar to watching a movie in that it could help a person “forget everything.”
“If it’s a child or an elderly person – whatever age group – just trying to think of something that would be appealing,” Boswell said. “And be happy because we need something happy.”
The metal that would be used in the project is very durable and able to withstand severe weather conditions, Boswell said. She completed a project with the same material in Winter Park, and it has withstood hurricanes and storms for the past eight years.
Funding for the project
The city has $25,000 budgeted for the Solary Park art project in its Community Redevelopment Agency’s fund.
The CRA was established to fund infrastructure and capital improvements within an established boundary, which is Oviedo’s two downtown centers and the surrounding area.
The way it works is half of the year-over-year increases in tax collection on properties within the CRA goes into this fund. Money in the fund cannot be used outside of the CRA’s boundaries.
The CRA was set up in 2010 when Oviedo on the Park was developed, hoping that the tax base created there would help drive revitalization for the rest of the downtown area.
Learn more about the CRA here.
Other art projects
Currently, there are three art projects that have been funded by the city: the Oviedo Mural at Center Lake Park, the Round Lake Park Mural and the Oviedo Gym and Aquatic Center Mural.
Beyond that, the board has approved other small projects, such as Oviedo postcards made with photographs and other art from the area, which are available for $5 at various City of Oviedo buildings, including the City Hall Annex. For that project, the board requested that artists submit their work, and then they determined what art they wanted to put on the postcards. The process is similar for most other projects.
Daham says that the board is still refining their process of approving artwork since being established in 2017.
“As we go, we become more cohesive as a board as we figure out what works and doesn’t work,” Daham said.
The Board had put out a call to artists to submit proposals for Solary Park, and they picked Boswell’s.
“It’s been great to hear from different artists in the city,” Daham said. “It’s nice when they are [Oviedo citizens], to support them.”
The next Public Arts Board meeting has yet to be announced. Those interested in attending upcoming meetings can go in-person or view the YouTube live stream. The city posts meeting agendas and meeting packets, which contain more details about items on the agenda, several days before a meeting. Find them here.
Watch the video from the latest Arts Board meeting.