And although the names - Alan Sonfist, Dale Eldred, Nancy Holt, Ned Smyth, Richard Fleishner, Doug Hollis - may be unfamiliar to most bay area art lovers, they are among the most prominent creators of public art today. "You're probably talking about 50 artists worldwide with that kind of reputation," says Vincent Ahern, coordinator of public art for the University of South Florida, where several renowned artists have been commissioned for various projects.
Sonfist, a New Yorker, was in Tampa last week to participate in an unusual collaborative project: the design of a new city park at the site of Curtis Hixon Convention Center, undergoing demolition. The park will be in the vicinity of two of the city's prime cultural attractions, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the Tampa Museum of Art.
Patron of the Arts Awards, $425, to: Sharon Fujimoto, glass, Madison, Wis.; Jane Murray Lewis, fiber, Tampa; Jack Breit, mixed media, St. Petersburg; George Pandolph, wood, Mount Dora; Sue Archer, watercolor, Palm Beach Gardens; Louise Cherwak, graphics, Indian Harbor Beach; Gerald Dvorak, sculpture, Tampa; Jean Yao, graphics, Port Richey; Jack Ellis, graphics, St. Petersburg; Patricia Karnes, jewelry, Winter Park; Nick Sacripante, graphics, Port Richey; Autumn DeFrank, jewelry, Rotonda West; Ernest Simmons, watercolor, Clearwater; Susan Shapiro, ceramics, St. Petersburg; Robert Detamore, graphics, Barnesville, Ga.; and Susan and Bill Freeman, ceramics, Birmingham, Ala. Competitions for artists