All public art is located in places accessible to everyone.  There are many different kinds of public art.  The Bradenton Downtown Development Authority matches each project to the unique character of the location, the neighborhood, the community. 


ABOUT THE BDDA Public Art Program

Bradenton residents asked for public art when they helped write the Downtown by Design master plan for the city’s future.  Hundreds of Bradenton’s concerned citizens contributed to the  Realize Bradenton Community Cultural Plan which recommends Bradenton include Public Art as an important program to help revitalize downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.  The Bradenton Downtown Development Authority responded with the creation of Public Art program in July, 2009 and the appointment of the Public Art Advisory Board to administer it.
To contact the DDA about its public art program:

FUNCTIONAL ART. Flip Flops Installation by Mark AelingFUNCTIONAL ART. Cuppa Joe Installation by Mark AelingFUNCTIONAL ART. Toast Installation by Mark Aeling


Flip Flops, Cuppa Joe and Toast

by Mark Aeling are sculptural bike racks located downtown on Old Main St. They add a touch of whimsy and provide a much needed place for bikes. 


Chrysalis Launcher.

This piece marks the gateway to the Village of the Arts and represents the creativity and energy of the Village. The colors of the “wings” are derived from the bright colors of the houses in the Village.

Artist Catherine Woods won the commission from a field of over 40 artists from Florida and throughout the US.  Three finalists visited Bradenton and the Village of the Arts to learn more about the community before designing art for this project.  The community based Selection Panel chose Chrysalis Launcher.


Splashpad for Riverwalk. 

Mark Fuller.   Public Art can be inseparable from the building or surface.  This design for the interactive water feature on the Riverwalk will add to the fun of playing in the sprays of water that will erupt from under the surface. 

COMMUNITY PUBLIC ART PROJECT. Life Choices by Life Cycles Muralist Michael Parker


Life Choices

Life Cycles Muralist Michael Parker invited many community groups in the neighborhood around the Bradenton Police Substation to join him in investigating the nature and challenges of their community.  An intergenerational group shared their thoughts with each other and with the artist while attending art workshops with him to learn mural techniques. Their drawings,  photographs of the neighborhood and ideas were incorporated into Michael’s design which reflects what he learned from the participants.   The mural poses the questions about their future,  faced by youth on the verge of adulthood. It depicts two teens from the neighborhood who represent the challenges and opportunities of young people  who yearn to explore the world and who are nurtured by their families and community, which hopes they will return to help build community as adults.

INTERACTIVE ART. Big Eyes Big Ears by Bill Buchen/Son Arc.INTERACTIVE ART. 

Big Eyes Big Ears 

Bill Buchen/Son Arc.  Soon to be located on the Riverwalk, this piece combines science and art. It acts as a collector of sounds of the river and as a periscope to see across the river. It revolves to capture sound and sights from every direction.  Its intriguing shape suggests sculpture and but it is also a huge toy for everyone to play with.   There will be two more Son Arc interactive sound sculptures on the Riverwalk.

TEMPORARY ART. Fish in Trees by Mark AelingTEMPORARY ART. 

Fish in Trees. 

Mark Aeling installed a school of red fish sculptures in a tree on Old Main St. in downtown Bradenton for six months.  The slightly surreal whimsical concept became a favorite topic of conversation along Old Main St.   After six months it was removed.

TEMPORARY ART. Pole Banners - Cenga Tse TEMPORARY ART. Pole Banners TEMPORARY ART. Pole Banners


Pole Banners. 

Three groups of students designed banners for Old Main St on the theme of the Manatee River:  13th St Dream Center, Easter Seals Sarasota-Manatee and Ringling College High School Summer workshop.  Each year a new set of designs will be created by local artists and student artists and hung for a year. 

More information about the BDDA Public Art Program

Public Art is funded through the TIFF tax funding generated from the Downtown and 14th St CRA’s, and directed to the BDDA expressly for the purpose of revitalization and development of those Areas.  These funds by law, must be spent within these CRA’s and cannot be used for salaries and other general operating expenses of the City of Bradenton.

There is more public art coming to Bradenton. Check back to see our collection grow.

To learn more about how the BDDA Public Art Program operates, see its Policies and Guidelines.

To contact the DDA about its public art program:

© 2010 BDDA —101 Old Main Street, Bradenton, FL 34205 | Phone (941) 932-9440 | Fax (941) 932-9552

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