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.

18 comments:

Jacob said...

Some folks will do anything to get their foot in the door!

Interesting, though. Whatever will become of the building? Surely, the governmental officios can come up with something other than maintenance...

Have a great Sunday!

Don and Krise said...

That bright blue is a real attention getter. I'll bet you can see that dancer from a couple blocks away.

Don and Krise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vogon Poet said...

Nice and unusual, the color is striking in this official setting.

Hilda said...

She's a perfect match to your own feet photo too! ;)

Frank said...

Possible uses for the old courthouse have been numerous over the years. It was seriously considered for the museum of art but as the new one is under construction that is no longer an option. There are a number of issues surrounding the buidling itself that have prevented tenants from moving in. Outside it looks great. Inside is another matter.

JM said...

Very cool indeed!

Lois said...

Now this is really cool and I like that color too!

Judy said...

You have some truly unusual artwork in your city!!

Dr. Evil said...

Beautiful leg I would love to see a picture of the whole thing.

L D Sledge said...

Wow, Ofra. This is such a create? The blue says something that I think no other color could say. Great knowing you. Keep it up.
ldsledge
Palm Harbor

Anonymous said...

missing a pinky toe, no?

Anonymous said...

I have seen other pieces from this sculptor and they are all amazing. So much talent out there that people deserve to know.
Keep up the good work Ofra!!!!!!!!

ofra said...

Frank, I love your original photo and great description, thank you!

Frank said...

@ Ofra - I love the sculpture and I get so many folks searching for it via Google and now Bing. Many find it and some leave comments. It is certainly one of the most popular photos I have ever posted. And traffic to the post has not stopped. Thanks to YOU.

I sincerely appreciate your nice comment. I could not ask for higher praise.

Frank

ofra said...

I am glad to see such great comments and that people appreciate art. Your photo definitely enhances it and creates an effect.
I also want to thank CREW Tampa Bay for organizing this outdoor art project. I hope we'll create new sculptures next year.

camobel said...

Little doubt, the dude is totally just.

Ofra said...

Frank, I am using your photo for a museum project. Please send me your last name for the photo credit. Thanks!