Three Works Will Mark the Massive Agave Ponce Mixed-Use Project
Coral Gables prides itself on public art, so much so that it requires that developers who build here set aside one percent of their costs to create public art. These funds can be used to enhance the project itself or to create artwork elsewhere in the city.
With hard costs of $380 million, the builders of the Plaza Coral Gables project next to Ponce Circle have provided not only the requisite $3.8 million, but also added $2.7 million – with plans to spend another $2 million to enhance the adjacent circle park.
“The idea is to have all this space [the open, central courtyard] basically serve as a public park,” says Carlos Beckmann, director of operations for Agave Ponce. In addition to the art, Agave intends to hold daily events on a large lawn with a stage and screen. “We really want to activate the space, not just put in palm trees and call it a day,” he says.
Adds José Antonio Pérez, Agave Holdings U.S. managing director: “We are doing this thinking of the local community. Of course, if you get tourists, beautiful. But it’s to promote this as a cultural destination for the Coral Gables population and the surrounding areas of South Miami and Pinecrest.”
Artist: Jean-Michel Othoniel
About the Artist: Othoniel is a world renowned French performance artist, photographer and sculptor of fountains. His fountains adorn numerous world sites, including the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Louvre in Paris, the royal palace at Versailles and the National Museum of Qatar.
About the Piece: A fountain comprised of interlacing stainless steel mirrored beads that rise from a crystal-clear pond and move with the flow of water.
Monumental Ritual Bench
Artist: Michele Oka Doner
About the Artist: Doner is a New York based multimedia artist (born in Miami Beach) who has created over 40 public and private permanent art installations, including the 1.25 mile long “A Walk on the Beach” bronze and terrazzo concourse at MIA.
About the Piece: The artist will create a circular “radiant bronze counter” 13 and a half feet in diameter to encircle a hug specimen shade tree. A circular “monumental bench” will surround the bronze counter to allow pedestrians to sit and enjoy the shade.
Artist: Tony Cragg
About the Artist: Tony Cragg is a British sculptor known for using unconventional materials, including plastic, fiberglass, bronze and Kevlar. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
About the Piece: Mean Average is a 19-foot abstract bronze sculpture, which Cragg completed in 2013, originally located on Park Avenue in New York before being moved to Germany, where it was purchased by Agave.