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Tallahassee Public Art Map Offers Virtual Tour Of Capital City Culture

Jessica Paombo
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM
"Quark" is one of about 170 pieces of public art in the COCA public arts directory.

In Tallahassee, art is everywhere in public places. The local Council on Culture and Arts, COCA, offers an interactive map to take people on virtual public art tours or help them plan real tours of their own.

In a small grassy area just off of Gaines Street, between downtown and the All Saints district, an abstract sculpture juts high into the sky. Amanda Karioth Thomspon, with COCA, said, it’s a world treasure.

“It’s bright blue. It is over 70 feet tall and it weighs seven tons, so it towers over Doug Burnett Park,” she said.

But it doesn’t take a trip downtown to see the sculpture and learn it’s called “Quark” and it’s by internationally known artist John Henry. That’s because “Quark” and about 170 other pieces are catalogued in COCA’s online public art directory.

“It runs the gamut from sculpture to glass windows to memorials and monuments to murals, all across town,” Thompson said.

And it’s not just a directory of public art the council offers. An interactive map shows the location of all the public art at once. Each colored marker on the map is a work of art.

“If you hover over one of those or click on it, what comes up is another image along with that same information about the artist, the year the material it’s made out of and its location as well,” she said.

The directory and map launched last year, and Thompson said, the response from the community has been great. Among the biggest fans are K-12 teachers who have used it in their curriculum, she said.

And it’s a work in progress, she said, as art installations rotate and new street art seems to pop up every day. COCA invites people to submit their own street art sightings. If people see a piece that’s not in the directory, they can contact COCA.

Visit COCA’s public art directory here.