The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District have narrowed down the search for the community’s “The Next Big Thing.” Three semi-finalists are vying to showcase their exciting new large-scale urban experience in the heart of the city, down from more than 20 organizations from around the world that submitted ideas for interactive experiences.
Artists and creatives were tasked with crafting an urban experience that would be interactive, unique, artistic, and ignite the community’s imagination. Applicants were asked to interpret the theme in a way that reflected on the idea of sparking moments of fascination, wonder, and imagination.
The three semi-finalists are:
Downtown Playground: This interactive exhibit features two artistic installations, Domino Effect and Skip Up!, both inspired by children’s games. Submitted by Quartier des Spectacle International of Canada, Domino Effect invites participants to interact with giant lighted and musical dominos. Each domino push from one of the six domino stations that range in shapes, colors, and musical scores leads to a musical note from an orchestra, percussion, marimba, balafon, flute, voices, and percussion. Visitors can team up to create their own unique musical scores. The result: a multi-colored domino orchestra. Skip-Up! consists of four stations offering a luminous and collaborative evolution of skipping rope combined with hopscotch. In a shared experience, this active participatory installation invites patrons to relive childhood memories while creating memorable and magical moments for the new generation.
Trojan Rocking Horses: Eight life-sized Trojan rocking horses, mounted on wheels and custom-designed by local children, begin their journey from various communities around Palm Beach County. Submitted by Marco Casagrande in Finland, each horse is a moving mailbox, collecting messages and comments from residents to community leaders as the horses make their way toward downtown. Upon arrival, there is a “Grand Finale,” where the horses are permanently placed as interactive sculptures and continue to collect messages from visitors. Several times a year, the messages are collected, reflected upon, and published online at the Trojan Rocking Horse web page and as hard copy of a free newspaper.
Wings of Glory: A giant mechanical Pegasus sculpture by Adrian Landon, Burning Man’s 2019 Shining Star, will ignite the community’s imagination though its kinetic energy and awe-inspiring movement. Submitted by Art Moves You, Wings of Glory is a 35-foot-tall mechanical Pegasus sculpture with a 35-foot wingspan. When activated by pushing buttons in synchronicity, the Pegasus gallops and flaps its wings in slow motion. At night, the sculpture is illuminated by color-changing LEDs and can be set ablaze with propane flame effects emitting from the mane, tail, and wings.
The semi-finalists will present to a selection committee on September 1, and the recommended awardee will be presented at the next DDA board meeting on September 13. The project is to be completed in the spring of 2023.