'Taking Flight', an interactive sculpture, is located on the grassy area
in front of the Oldsmar Council Chamber, 101 State Street West.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC ART PROJECT
The City of Oldsmar issued a "Call to Artist" in 2019, seeking artists, architects, and design professionals to submit qualifications for creating and installing a permanent outdoor public art piece. The specifications stated that the work should be iconic, represent Oldsmar's uniqueness, and have an interactive pedestrian environment component. The intention was to capture and reflect the identity of the City while complementing the surrounding environment. Out of 40 submissions, a panel of six judges selected a local professional artist - Donald Gialanella.
ABOUT THE SCULPTURE
"Taking Flight" is a pair of 12-foot tall wings made of stainless steel, fabricated to represent the natural environment's beauty. They symbolize Oldsmar's evolution from a rural area into a modern suburban town - one looking forward to the future. A significant feature of the sculpture is its interactivity. Visitors can "wear" the wings by standing in front of them while posing for pictures and share on social media with the hashtag #TakingFlight. The wings are supported from behind by two right-angle base supports, making it appear suspended. The base units, made of Corten steel, have Oldsmobile transmission gears, clutch rings, cogs, and levers added, paying tribute to Ransom Eli Olds, the founder of Oldsmar.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Donald Gialanella is an internationally renown artist who works and lives in his St. Petersburg studio. Mr. Gialanella is a sculptor who focuses on turning metal and found materials into large-scale shapes, figures, and symbols. "My art experience includes a social consciousness that questions prevailing artistic and social ideologies. I create art that brings interest to the urban environment. My work ranges from large-scale monumental public pieces to site-specific integrated installations. My recent projects are driven by concept rather than traditional materials and methods."
His work includes elegant steel horses, towering abstract totems, and wry orbs made up of discarded consumer objects. His portfolios are in public sculpture gardens from California to New York and in private collections of the likes of Angelina Jolie and Howard Stern.