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Fred Eversley, a Pioneer in the Light and Space Art Movement, to create his largest public art installation in the City of West Palm Beach 

A public-private partnership between the City of West Palm Beach and Related Companies solidifies a monumental installation.

Artist rendering of "Portals," to be featured at One Flagler
Artist rendering of “Portals,” to be featured at One Flagler.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (December 14, 2022) – Renowned Sculptor Fred Eversley has been commissioned by Related Companies in a public-private partnership with the City of West Palm Beach’s ArtLife WPB public art program and The Community Redevelopment Agency to create a site-specific public art installation in downtown.  Slated for completion in spring of 2024, Portals will include eight parabolic shapes in transparent, violet-hued polyurethane resin materials and shapes that reflect the artist’s continuing exploration of shape, light, and materiality.

Portals will be the largest public art installation and most ambitious project created by Eversley in recent years. Through the city’s public art program’s percent-for-art-funding and a strong public-private partnership, a monumental public artwork by renowned artist Fred Eversley will be made possible for the public to experience.  Further, through this partnership, Portals will become an addition to the City of West Palm Beach’s Public Art Collection.

As part of the project, the adjacent First Church of Christ, Scientist—which inspired Eversley’s Portals—will be preserved in perpetuity. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style by African American architect Julian Abele in 1928, and completed in 1929, the church remains one of the most architecturally significant historic structures in West Palm Beach. The 1.25-acre public green space in front of the new One Flagler building will be named “Julian Abele Park.” The eight sculptures comprising Portals refer to the eight columns of the church.

Eversley has been featured in over 200 exhibitions and is included in over 40 museum collections. He has executed 20 large public artwork commissions. By training, Eversley is an engineer, and his sleek creations in cast polyester resins and bronze, and laminated acrylics and stainless steel, frequently take the form of disks, parabolas, helices, and lenses.

Explains Eversley, “Seen from afar, eight Portals rise up, from land, and out of water, shaping a graceful gate that resonates with the columns of the church. Like an arced welcoming arm, the Portals lead visitors to the heart of the site’s historical ground. The Portals become an active third part of what is now a sculptural and architectural trilogy, one in which the number eight is a recurring theme. The aim is to inspire and draw thoughts to Abele’s masterful gestures, and to the mind that gave rise to this destination point, which now appears in a new light, and with new life. Portals signals a new beginning––an homage to Abele’s significance and his relevant, lasting contribution, which are here given renewed value and brought into the eternal light of infinite spirit.”

“By preserving the historical First Church of Christ, Scientist and creating a new monumental artwork that pays tribute to its architect, Related and Fred Eversley are presenting the City of West Palm Beach with a lasting gift,” said Mayor Keith A. James.  “This new park and captivating installation will be a major draw for residents, visitors, and art enthusiasts.”

“We believe that public art is inclusive and creates memorable shared experiences providing moments of discovery and inspiration. The park at One Flagler is the perfect place to present an important work of art by an iconic artist,” says Gopal Rajegowda, partner at Related Southeast. “We conducted an in-depth search and proposal process, which resulted in the selection of Portals by Fred Eversley. The artwork stands out for its beautiful, eye-catching design and its homage to architect Julian Abele and the historic church. Eversley’s sculptures will make a meaningful connection between the past and the current important time in the City of West Palm Beach.”

“We are aiming high, and the city continues to build meaningful relationships with partners, such as Related to afford artists who take creative risks, are innovative in their approach, and exhibit the rigor of their art practice through their works,” say Sybille Welter, Administrator of Public Art and Culture for the City of West Palm Beach. “we applaud Related for continuing to support the city’s vision to create public spaces that enhance the visual and cultural environment of West Palm Beach through artworks by significant artists.” 

About ArtLife WPB

Public Art for an Inspired City

ArtLife WPB is the public art program of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida. ArtLife projects capture the diverse, contemporary beat and rich history that make West Palm Beach a destination city.

ArtLife WPB believes that residents and visitors should live, work, and play in spaces where art is a daily experience and source of inspiration reflecting our unique way of life. The City’s public art contributes to its aesthetic, economic, and social vitality through permanent and temporary displays and annual special exhibitions. The program operates without tax funding and instead, benefits from a 1% art inclusion fund from public and private development projects.

Click here to learn more about ArtLife WPB, or call Sybille Welter, Administrator of Public Art and Culture, at (561) 822-1521 (TTY: 800-955-8771).

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Originally published at https://www.wpb.org/Home/Components/News/News/3130/772?npage=3

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