A sculpture here, a sculpture there, everywhere a sculpture is the goal for Wilton Manors Sculpture Walk.
The idea of the artistic walk is from the Fort Lauderdale resident RE/MAX Experience realtor Michael “Mike” Sansevero. As Founder and Coordinator of the walk, Sansevero is determined to populate Wilton Manors with eye-catching artwork.
If you’ve been around the Island City area you might have already seen some of the sculptures planted throughout the town. Officially, there are five sculptures in total – three being existing city sculptures that have been part of Wilton Manors for some time now.
However, Sansevero’s pride and joy are the two art pieces that Sculpture Walk itself has managed to incorporate as part of Wilton Manors' artistry just within the last six months from when the walk was originated.
The first sculpture to don the streets of Wilton Manors was the “Talking Tubes II” (by Joni Younkins-Herzog) on March 10, 2020. The lengthy gold and red Doctor Suess like art piece resides at 2201 Wilton Drive - a befitting location as it’s the home of the South Florida Symphony office.
The second sculpture was erected shortly thereafter within a week’s time. The bold and bright orange “Slices of Heaven” (by Craig Berube-Gray) stands tall in the enclave of the Sunserve building facing the sidewalk in-clear view of onlookers at 2292 Wilton Drive.
The purpose of all this is to give locals and tourists alike an artistic experience when in Wilton Manors. An outdoor museum where individuals, couples, or groups can mosey the grounds of Wilton Manors on a Florida sun-filled day exploring the sites.
Throughout the journey spectators can pop into the many businesses along the way to grab a bite to eat, a refreshing ice cream cone, a brewski at one of the bars, clothes shopping new and recycled, or perhaps pick up a novelty gift at the candy store – there’s just so much to do.
Sansevero’s not stopping there with just two sculptures, he's determined to add roughly six more pieces by the end of 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 delays. It’s not just Sansevero’s ambition that has him motivated to achieve his goal. The feedback from the community has inspired him as well.
“Through the process and with my initial social [media] posts about the potential for art sculptures, I detected a huge positive response and a large appetite for this sort of thing,” shared a joyful Sansevero. “Since our first 2 installations, the reactions from everyone have been super supportive, so that makes me very happy and anxious to do more.”
It’s not just antidotal praise that Sansevero has been basing his progress on, he has also received an impressive fundraising amount that has allowed for the installation of the two existing sculptures to be planted with no funding woes. Even the city itself has donated to the project.
Sculpture Walk is funded by donations through the 501(c)3 of Art Walk Wilton Manors, both of which operate under the authority of WMEG, Wilton Manors Entertainment Group that is responsible for many of the Island City’s cultural and social events.
Sansevero’s fundraising efforts have done so well that he has enough funds to commission his next sculpture, the “Sweet Hearts,” which is also created by Craig Berube-Gray. The three-heart sculpture that plays on the popular Valentine’s Day word candy will be an adorable addition to the walk.
Sculptures are chosen by Sansevero and his Sculpture Walk committee. As of late, the committee has been open to the public in which anyone interested can join. Just check on the “Sculpture Walk Wilton Manors” Facebook Page for committee meeting times and days or send the page a private message.
For artists who are interested in an opportunity to display their sculpture, they can fill out an electronic application or they can send the “Sculpture Walk Wilton Manors” Facebook Page a private message.
Each piece is commissioned for $1,000 and is a permanent fixture in Wilton Manors for a lease period of 12 months. Suffice to say the sculpture most be durable to weather their outdoor occupancy. And if the artist would like, their sculpture can be marked for sale.
Sansevero’s vision has come to life with a lot more sculptures to pop up in the near future. Follow and like the “Sculpture Walk Wilton Manors” Facebook Page so that you can stay informed about all the new arrivals and their ceremonial ribbon cutting.
And of course, make sure to take a stroll through the Island City to witness the attention-grabbing sculptures.
Sculpture Walk Wilton Manors is an Island City cultural experience under the guidance of WMEG. For questions or press, please contact WMEG's Creative Content Director Jameer Baptiste at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (754) 200-2579 ext. 616.