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August 5, 2005

Bus Bench Art Unveiled

Tom Derzypolski

Fort Pierce - August 5, 2005 - St. Lucie County Community Services, in conjunction with the Cultural Affairs Department and Community Transit, will unveil the new fixed route bus bench art on Friday, August 19 at 10 a.m. at the St. Lucie County Civic Center in Fort Pierce.

After a year of development, exciting new additions to the Treasure Coast Connector routes are ready for installation. Beginning with the U.S. 1 route, concrete benches will have brightly colored mosaic art work. Local fresco mosaic artist, Anita Prentice, has turned concrete benches into beautiful works of functional art for the bus stops.

Jody Bonet, Transit Manager for St. Lucie County says, "We hope that the mosaic benches attract new riders to our system by having an attractive place to wait for the buses."

The concrete benches were funded through a Florida Department of Transportation Urban Transit grant and local matching funds from the County. The total project cost for 50 benches is $60,000 and includes the cost of the benches, the mosaic art supplies and the artist's time to create wonderful functional transit art.

Local artists were invited to submit designs for the back and front of the concrete benches. The seats have a sun design similar to the sun on the bright blue and yellow Treasure Coast Connector buses. Designs that were approved by the St. Lucie County Cultural Affairs Council Arts in Public Places subcommittee included sea turtles, local fish species, palm trees, flowers, patriotic benches and others. Local artists featured in the first set of benches include: sport fish by Freeman Davenport, Stars and Stripes by Bill Ward, Palm Trees by Loretta Northrop, hibiscus by Barbara Zarrella and native wildlife by Allison Poole. Youth artists and other local artists will also be featured in the first set of 50 benches but are still works in progress by mosaic artist Anita Prentice.

During the next few months, the first 50 benches will be placed along the U.S. 1 route and some stops located along the business east-west route by I-95, Indian River Community College and Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. The second phase of the bench art project will consist of 50 additional benches to be placed along the Treasure Coast Connector residential route located along the Avenue D and north Fort Pierce area.

For more information, contact Jody Bonet, Transit Manager, at (772) 462-1176.