Photo: Nate Ilardi for City of Sarasota
The Jumping Fish sculpture stands 16 ft high by 12 ft wide in the center island of the modern roundabout at Cocoanut Avenue & Palm Avenue. The sculpture was selected from among 140 submissions and is the 84th piece in Sarasota’s Public Art Collection. It was sculpted in 2019 by Jeff Laramore.
“Sarasota, Florida is a city that has long proudly supported the arts.
The city’s vibrant arts scene includes the Ringling College of Art and Design, the famous Ringling Museum, an opera house, a ballet company, and the Sarasota Art Museum. Thanks to visionaries, the City’s Public Art Collection now includes downtown modern roundabouts graced with artworks.
Early on, then Sarasota City Engineer Dennis Daughters, then City Traffic Manager Sam Freija, and current City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw envisioned a downtown made more pedestrian friendly—and even more beautiful—with a collection of modern roundabouts. Today, their vision is coming to fruition.
‘We’re interested in the safety of walkability and connectivity to Sarasota Bay,” Downtown Sarasota Condo Association Transportation Committee Chair and Urban Planning Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati Roger Barry said. “The roundabouts help supply that and appear to be extremely successful. I think we’re kind of proud of the fact Sarasota is an art-focused community and the roundabouts are an expression of that…'”
To help a skeptical public understand what it would get in return for giving up the two travel lanes, Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects Lab created a rendering depicting how different the three intersections could look with marine-themed public art in the roundabout central islands for the Fruitville Road roundabout. Image: Hoyt Architecture Lab.
— Ken Sides, Roads and Bridges