“Laura with Bun,” a 23-foot-tall cast iron sculpture by Jaume Plensa.
While most of Downtown Tampa is on the precipice of massive growth, the Tampa Museum of Art is getting a head start. The museum recently purchased Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa’s “Laura with Bun,” a 23-foot-tall cast iron sculpture that is now permanently located on the museum’s north side, facing the Poe Garage and the Straz Center.
Plensa has created works like “The Crown Fountain” in Chicago’s Millenium Park, and his sculptures of female heads represent the power of finding our own beauty within ourselves. The museum’s marketing and public relations director, Nancy Seijas-Kipnis, explained that the museum’s acquisition of “Laura with Bun,” made possible by an anonymous donor and almost 100 other donors, is helping make public art more prevalent in Tampa.
“Art in the public realm contributes both to community life and to the vitality of public spaces,” she said. “It helps build a sense of community, civic identity and culture.”
The Tampa Museum of Art has become a major player in Downtown Tampa’s revitalization, participating in events like Fourth Friday by offering pay-as-you-will admission and making their Sono Café a popular brunch spot on Sundays.
Tampa Museum of Art
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza
Hours: Mon–Thu: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sat & Sun: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Sky (Tampa)” by Leo Villareal
This permanent installation embedded in the museum’s exterior features 144 LED illuminators that flash in random, unrepeatable patterns according to artist Villareal’s programmed code. Each night at sundown, the lights come alive to move, flash and dance across the 45-feet high by 300-feet long aluminum panels. Villareal’s work was installed in 2010, when the museum moved to its current location.