Bringing art to public spaces always livens up an area and that’s precisely what the sculptures by artist Laura Fisher Huck have done for the Town of Lauderdale- By-The-Sea. Laura’s work first caught the eye of Town Manager Connie Hoffman and now the sculptures have been recognized by CODA Magazine
Town Manager Hoffman noticed the pieces by Fisher Huck on public display in a small town in Nova Scotia where they’ve been since 2002. Showing no signs of weathering, the pieces Fisher Huck says “are a good example of my expertise with outdoor painted sculpture.”
The two then spoke on the phone and when Hoffman realized there had been no maintenance whatsoever on any of the pieces and they still looked good, she asked Fisher Huck to visit the Town, review the project and undergo a submission process.
“Artist Laura Fisher Huck was a delight to work with as she quickly grasped the essence of our community and how to celebrate it through sculpture. We originally just commissioned one sculpture, but she presented such appealing alternatives that we became committed to finding the funds to commission four additional sculptures, said Town Manager Connie Hoffman in CODA Magazine.
The artist felt both lucky and honored at being selected and loved visiting the town and letting it inspire her artwork.
She describes LBTS as “a hoppin’ little place. I danced on the street one Saturday night. And it was fun designing a special set of sculptures that particularly suit such a lively, lovely place; like custom jewelry. I thought the Mayor and Town Commission showed great courage and discernment in going for the whole suite.”
Laura also drew inspiration to create the five colorful sculptures from her dives with scuba instructor Rene Bobadilla. The largest sculpture “Coral Arch” is at the town’s entryway and stands on the town’s side of theCauseway Bridge on West Commercial Blvd.
The four smaller sculptures – a queen parrotfish, green turtle, spotted eagle ray and Caribbean squid adorn both sides of West Commercial Blvd. for the ensuing two blocks marking the entry to each of the four shopping plazas. Each sculpture sports an educational plaque which Laura says “includes interesting and sometimes humorous facts about these amazing sea creature neighbors and their precious habitat.”
Creating the sculptures was a process full of tiny steps even before the material form was created. She started working on the project in March 2012 and finished in March 2014. Each piece was visualized, researched, designed, approved, and translated into maquettes and CAD drawings. They were then cut, turned, fabricated, inspected step-by-step by a qualified structural engineer for windload, anodized, hand-painted, delivered, and installed. “The Town government was very clear about their standards for very high quality,” Laura said.
The sculptures are made of aluminum which does not corrode. To prepare them for color they were prime coated with a special zinc oxide primer for aluminum, hand painted with outdoor, UV-protected acrylic paint, and finally coated with no less than three layers of a high-grade transparent epoxy which is also UV resistant. The large sculpture actually has six layers.
Making the pieces colorful was essential and she credits discovering how to make colorful outdoor sculpture that can withstand extreme weather conditions as a turning point in her career. She loves color and especially hand painting the sculptures.
“The color and detailing is very intricate. It makes them more interesting when viewed up close for adults, but especially for children who often see more detail,” she said.
Being featured in the magazine was a delight especially since she always strives to do her best. She feels the magic of art is that “it keeps giving in unpredictable ways.” She is also extremely proud of the recognition her artwork brought to the Town of LBTS.
“Her work was instrumental in the Town receiving the Best Project of the Year Award from the Florida Redevelopment Association,” said Town Manager Hoffman.
Fisher Huck applauds them as well saying “kudos to the forward-thinking Commissioners of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.”
Read the article that features Laura Fisher Huck’s work here