Robert Sanford and Jared Beck have been unanimously elected by the Fort Myers Public Art Committee as its new chairman and vice-chairman respectively. They are part of a nine-member volunteer board that consists of seven members and two alternates who oversee the review, commissioning, installation and maintenance of public art within the City of Fort Myers.
Sanford was originally appointed to the Committee by Ward 4 Councilman Mike Flanders on May 2, 2011. He brings to the committee substantial expertise as an architect and senior project manager for RS&H, a firm that offers a full range of architecture, engineering, design, planning, environmental, management, and construction services for the world’s most important facilities and infrastructure challenges. Consistently ranked among the top 100 design firms in the nation, RS&H has served clients in aerospace, aviation, corporate, defense, health and science, and transportation for more than 70 years. Sanford holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Florida and a Masters of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His current term expires September 30, 2014.
Beck was appointed by Ward 6 Councilman Thomas Leonard on September 4, 2012. He is the principal and project manager at the JTravis Group, which provides a variety of interior and exterior design services, as well as facilitating business development and economic revitalization, including planning, programming, developing key partnerships, leveraging incentives and resources, as well as grant writing, business pro-formas, and marketing strategies. Specific areas of focus also include historic preservation, heritage tourism, brownfields, and redevelopment districts.
From November of 2008 through January of 2012, Beck was a principal planner for the City of Fort Myers, where his primary responsibilities included the direct management of the preservation program, short and long range downtown and neighborhood planning, and community outreach and redevelopment initiatives. Beck’s duties for the city included research and preparation of reports to department directors and city management, as well as conducting public hearings by the Historic Preservation Commission and Brownfields Advisory Board. He attended the University of Wisconsin, has a BLA in Landscape Architecture from Texas Tech and an MBA in Marketing from Regis University. His current term on the Public Art Committee expires on October 4, 2015.
The other members of the Committee include past Chairs Ava Roeder and ArtFest Director Sharon McAllister, David J. Meo, Gwen Middlebrooks, and William Taylor, as well as alternates Patricia Collins and Carolyn Gora.
The Committee was created by ordinance in 2004 and since that time, it has assisted Lee County in the installation and promotion of the 30,000-square-foot site-specific modern art installation on the Lee County Justice Center Parking Garage known as Parallel Park and the 25-foot-tall Dupont red proto-architectural sculpture in Centennial Park West known as Fire Dance. Next month, a tribute to the cattlemen who helped build the town in the decades following the Civil War known as Marks & Brands will be installed in the water feature in the courtyard of the new Fort Myers Regional Library, as well as at several locations in the sidewalk along First Street and McGregor Boulevard.
More than 45 artworks are included in the City’s collection and both citizens and visitors can access information about their names, the artists who created them and their location on cultureNOW.org, the Public Art Archive and MyRiverDistrict.com, or by taking a public art walking tour at True Tours in The Franklin Shops on First.
The Fort Myers Public Art Committee meets in public session on the third Tuesday of the month in the City Council Chambers in the Oscar M. Corbin, Jr. City Hall at 2200 Second Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901. For more information, please contact Public Art Liaison Donna J. Lovegrove at 239-321-7217.