By Saraana Jamraj
As the clubhouse at Colony West Golf Club moves towards completion, the city commission put out a call to artists for a lighted, suspended ceiling sculpture to finish the look.
With a budget of $50,00, the Public Arts Committee issued a call to artists and received 24 responses.
The requirement was that the work itself would cast reflections on the walls, as well as on the floors. It would also require minimal ongoing maintenance, complement the clubhouse interior, and speak to aspects of Tamarac.
After narrowing the field, they presented their short-list of finalists to the commission on April 22.
Mark Aeling’s proposed sculpture, “Argyle Egret,” would comprise of a large, floating, blue-tinted, acrylic egret with a 40-foot wing-span hanging from the ceiling.
David Farquharson, a Colorado-based artist, suggested a sculpture consisting of abstractive, non-objective, white mesh. Computer-controlled lighting would flash off of the white mesh, giving it the illusion of color.
Michele Gutlove, an artist the committee members had worked with in the past, proposed an impressionistic glass-light sculpture of palm fronds under the amber glow of sunlight. The sculpture would involve light-play from both natural and artificial light.
The committee determined that Gutlove’s proposed sculpture was the only one that met all of the criteria and recommended her work was selected. However, Mayor Michelle Gomez did not feel that Gutlove’s piece was the best one for Colony West.
“I do not feel that is what the city is trying to emanate with this new project,” said Gomez.
She noted that the Gutlove’s’s piece was beautiful in and of itself, but wasn’t something she could imagine as the backdrop of her own wedding.
“I thought it was stingrays and seaweed,” she said.
Commissioner Debra Placko agreed and noted she preferred Aeling’s proposed sculpture.
“I was looking for something that was very contemporary and elegant. The acrylic sculpture, to me, was that,” said Placko.
Commissioner Julie Fishman agreed that the egret would be more appealing than the palm fronds.
Commissioner Mike Gelin felt differently. “I support the view of the expert artists we pay to give their opinion, and I’m ready to move forward.”
Ultimately, the commission voted against approving the committee’s recommendation 2-3, with Bolton and Gelin voting in favor, and Gomez, Fishman, and Placko voting against.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.
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