SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A Salt Lake City roundabout will soon feature a piece of public artwork that organizers hope will make a splash.
The Salt Lake City Arts Council says a “forty foot wide whale hug” will be installed at 900 South and 1100 East. You can see renderings of the whale hug below.
Stephen Kesler’s Out of the Blue, a full-size sculpture of a humpback whale breaching out of the roundabout, was recommended by the Salt Lake City’s Art Design Board for commission and received approval from Mayor Erin Mendenhall.
The Salt Lake City Arts Council says Out of the Blue will host murals created by different artists on a rotating basis to reflect the dynamic and transforming nature of the neighborhood.
“The whale is designed to complement and augment the unique identity of the 9th and 9th area, celebrating a community that is welcoming and stands for respect.”
Kesler explains to the Arts Council, “9th and 9th is unexpected and out of the blue. A community where people from all backgrounds, beliefs and ideas migrate and feel a sense of belonging. A community that bursts through expectations; commanding respect for nature, others’ ideas and identities…”
SLIDESHOW: Renderings of Out of the Blue
According to the Arts Council, the whale was also influenced by input from the 9th and 9th community. The Public Art Program collaborated with the East Liberty Park Community Organization to release a survey to residents in the area for input.
Kesler is also known for work at the Hogle Zoo and Living Planet Aquarium. Out of the Blue will be hand-sculptured from recyclable foam, then made from fiberglass around a steel frame.
The Arts Council says the Art Design Board selected the roundabout for public art funding in 2019 and represents the first percent-for-art public art commission in Salt Lake City’s District 5 since 2016. The whale will be fabricated during the summer of 2021 and installed in the fall.