New Sculpture Coming To Annapolis, Public Comment Period Opens

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The Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission announced that these are the three finalists for a new sculpture to be built in Westgate Circle. The public can comment through Jan. 20, 2024. (Jay Coleman; Tristan Al Haddad; Cindy Fletcher-Holden/AIPPC)

Press release from the City of Annapolis:

Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission Selects Finalists for Westgate Circle Installation

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 6, 2023) - Earlier this year, the Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission (AIPPC) appointed a selection committee to seek public art for Westgate Circle (in the traffic circle at the intersection of West Street, Spa Road and Taylor Avenue). The committee sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP) in June 2023 and from those submissions the committee has selected three finalists.

The public is now invited to review the proposed designs and comment before a December vote to name the winning submission. Please go online to read the complete artist’s submissions on the AIPPC page, then submit public comment at https://www.annapolis.gov/appc (now extended through January 20, 2024). The Commission will review the feedback and the finalists will present at a public meeting at 7 p.m. on January 30, 2024 (the meeting will be broadcast on the City’s YouTube channel).

The new sculpture will replace Bobby Donovan’s cedar sculpture, “Shoal,” at the same location. Shoal was decommissioned due to deterioration. It was removed during the pandemic.

The three Westgate sculpture finalists are:

“Exalted Heart” by Jay Coleman, a Washington, DC muralist and sculptor.

(Jay Coleman/AIPPC)

Medium: Bronze and other materials (sculpture will be created at Laran Bronze Foundry in Chester, PA).

Artist’s Concept: The concept sketch depicts three arms rising up to support an exalted heart, the enduring symbol of love. The left arm represents Family. The middle arm represents Unity, and the right arm represents Community. This celebrates the notion that Family, Unity, and Community are collectively needed to lift every heart and person in our Annapolis community to greater heights.

Timeline: 8-10 months (engineering and approvals to final installation).

Symbiosis,” by Tristan Al Haddad

(Tristan Al Haddad/AIPPC)

Medium: Steel with a mat foundation (steel fabrication by Shear Structural in Atlanta, GA).

Artist’s Concept: Symbiosis is the condition of two entities working together to create a larger whole. The conceptual objective of this commission is to create a piece that can merge issues of place, community, and identity into a coherent whole which is appropriate for this dynamic site. The design is extracted from the elliptical geometry of Westgate Circle to create two interlocking ellipses connected by 150 linear elements which represent the collective community. The composition creates a dynamic form that is constantly shifting based on the movement of the viewer, especially from the automobile. As one moves around the sculpture, the forms that emerge shift from forms that seemingly embrace each other, like mother and child; to forms that invoke a ship cutting through the sea, to more pure readings of the elliptical orbits that define our solar system.

Timeline: 36 weeks

“Bloom Where You are Planted,” by Cindy Fletcher-Holden, Annapolis artist and muralist.

(Cindy Fletcher-Holden/AIPPC)

Medium: Marine grade aluminum alloy (fabrication at Carter Fabrications in Millersville, MD).

Artist’s Concept: The sculpture is envisioned as a hopeful sculpture that will welcome visitors, citizens and pollinators alike as they enter Annapolis via Westgate Circle. It consists of 8 hands, 4 reaching between 20’-30’ high and 4 filling the mid space at 10’-15’ high. Six arching leaves will gracefully surround the hands adding to their firm foundation. Native plants will surround the sculpture and speak to the common roots we share.

Timeline: 8-10 months (engineering and approvals to final installation).

Genevieve Torri, Ward 1 AiPPC Commissioner (and former AIPPC chair) said that 42 individual applicants submitted proposals. “In June, the Commission approved, by majority vote, the RFQ and the theme of “Unity” for one of our major gateways to the City,” Torri said. “We were pleased and thankful so many talented artists were interested. While all did not make it to become finalists, we strongly encourage future applications.”


This press release was produced by the City of Annapolis. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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I feel like drivers around here are distracted enough so probably don't need some giant statue sitting in the middle of that circle that'll make drivers even more distracted. 

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Until there are no drunk drivers, fixed objects in a roundabout circular island are not best practice in regards to safety.  Speed is the primary factor for fatal roundabout crashes (74%).  Fixed objects is a factor in 14% of fatal roundabout crashes and DUII is a factor in 15% of such.

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