The Arts Council of Plant City has strewn some magic around downtown Plant City. The Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Plant City, Unity in the Community and Plant City Photo Archives & History Center, has brought back the beautiful, life-size J. Seward Johnson sculptures. The sculptures are strategically placed throughout downtown and can be seen now through March 15.
Johnson creates trompe l’oeil painted bronze statues which are castings of living people, depicting them engaged in day-to-day activities. There are 10 statues on display.
No Hands can be found at the Bruton Memorial Library. Allow Me is situated in front of the City Hall south entrance. Nice To See You is at the Plant City Chamber building. Big Sister is located at the west end of McCall Park. Cat Nap can be found outside of Plant City Photo Archives & History Center.
The most photographed statue, Forever Marilyn, is on Collins St. at McCall Park. Wine, Food and Thou is at the corner of Collins St. and Reynolds St. Sidewalk Concert is on the corner of Palmer St. and Reynolds St. The iconic World War II Embracing Peace is in front of the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum. No Way can be found at Village Green Park.
Marsha Passmore, president of the Arts Council of Plant City, said, “The Arts Council has made it our mission to provide programs that support the visual, performing, and culinary arts. The Seward Johnson sculptures is our largest public art exhibit. It is an outside, open-air exhibit that can be viewed at any time. We promise that the time you spend strolling the area locating the 10 sculptures will be time well spent.”
Passmore added, “The J. Seward Johnson sculptures are known worldwide, and it is a privilege to display them locally.”
Dodie White, member chair, said, “We feel that it is important to bring them to Plant City because of the enjoyment they bring our community. It is almost impossible to drive or walk past even one of the sculptures and not see someone taking pictures and selfies with them. It brings our community together in a way that nothing else could. These sculptures are so lifelike. We get constant positive feedback because our community enjoys them so much. If they brighten just one person’s day, then it is worth our effort.”
White added, “With all of our 2020 fundraisers being cancelled due to COVID-19, our faithful members have helped to keep us alive this year. We are also very appreciative of partnerships with the City of Plant City, Mainstreet, Unity in the Community, Plant City Photo Archives, Lubrano Designs and all of our supporters that enable us to keep the arts alive in our beautiful Plant City community.”
This is a fantastic way to explore the charming historic district of Plant City. As you take the tour, be sure to check out some of the great local businesses in the area like Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar, Krazy Kup, Plant City Photo Archives and Tennessee Jane Boutique.
In addition to bringing the statues to downtown Plant City, the Arts Council of Plant City offers scholarships to graduating seniors, sponsors the PTSA Reflections Art Exhibit at Plant City High School, sends low-income children to a museum and supports arts organizations such as Winthrop Arts for its Mobile Art Factory.
The Arts Council of Plant City is funded by memberships ($25 per individual or $35 per family) and fundraisers, including its annual Chilifest set to take place on Saturday, January 30.
For more information, please visit www.plantcityarts.com and follow it on Facebook.