Saturday, July 25, 2009
Big Blue Toes dance to the courthouse steps: Ofra Friedman's FREEDOM
This giant foot belongs to Freedom, a steel wire mesh sculpture of a dancer by the artist Ofra Friedman. The dancer is suspended in a ballet pose and positioned on the front lawn of the oldest building in Tampa that was built for government use. It's a really good place for this piece of art. The building where she stands is still an imposing structure as you can tell from the giant columns. Although it has remained closed and empty since the new Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse opened in 1997, it is well maintained on the outside and still looks like the Federal Courthouse that it was. It was built on an entire city block and once served as our main U.S. Post Office, then the Public Health Service and finally was converted into the U.S Courthouse in 1984. It actually provides a delightful backdrop for this dancer whose toes and fingers point the way up and down Florida Avenue. She is a exciting and eclectic addition to the old building and our downtown.