The stylish destination of Bal Harbour has selected George Sánchez-Calderón to be the winner of its first public art commission, “Unscripted,” coming to fruition this October. Created to support and challenge the artistic talents in South Florida, the “Unscripted” project is the first of an ongoing series of commissions geared toward providing artists with a new platform to create an ambitious project and contribute to the growth of Bal Harbour as a creative destination. Due to the quality and ambition of two of the final proposals submitted this summer, Bal Harbour decided to pursue an additional commission for Spring 2013. Sculptor, installation and video artist Christy Gast will be featured as the second “Unscripted” commissioned artist.
George Sánchez-Calderón’s winning public art project, entitled “Pax Americana,” draws inspiration from Bal Harbour Village’s history, by reflecting upon the iconography that has collectively defined the archetype of “the American Dream.” Positioned in front of the new St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, where the Americana Hotel previously stood, Sánchez-Calderón will create a six-foot tall, stainless steel letter installation of the word “Americana,” in reference to this historical site. Many important political events and national conventions were held at the notorious hotel designed by Morris Lapidus, which over the years hosted Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson, Reagan and Clinton—an apt reference leading up to this year’s presidential election.
“Unscripted” public art commission is spearheaded by curator Claire Breukel, who has served on various art-related boards and has curated exhibitions in South Africa, New York, Miami, Vienna and El Salvador. To reach the final decision, she consulted with contemporary art and public art experts including Yvonne Force Villareal, President and Co-Founder of the Art Production Fund; Solita Mishaan, a Bal Harbour resident, collector and member of the International Council for TATE London; and celebrated artists Hernan Bas and Hank Willis Thomas.
This project will be supplemented with public programming including art chats, meet-and-greets, artist presentations, studio visits and more. “Unscripted,” is an ongoing Bal Harbour creative program that will support public art projects with commissions throughout the year, aiming to provide meaningful opportunities to artists, celebrate creativity, and enhance the tourism experience.