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form of wander

Abstract Art Catches Eye, Creates Shade along River

County-funded creation will be key feature of Julian B. Lane Park on the Hillsborough River's west bank

When workers install The Form of Wander atop a concrete pier that juts into the Hillsborough River, the effect beneath its tangle of branching forms will be similar to standing under a canopy of live oak trees.

Dappled light and shade will cascade down from the eye-catching work of abstract art commissioned by Hillsborough County. The structure is a central feature of the completely redesigned Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, which opened recently just north of the University of Tampa, overlooking downtown on the river's west bank.

The County paid just over $400,000 for the green-and-white pavilion, which will be 20 feet wide and 25 feet high with intertwined aluminum supports. Installation begins in September and is expected to take a few weeks.

The structure's designer, Marc Fornes, combines architecture and art to create pieces intended to enhance an area's identity. He has built large-scale public structures for U.S. and foreign cities, with each work intended to provide a unique spatial experience.

Other highlights of the renovation of Julian B. Lane Park include a reconfigured seawall, floating docks, a waterfront community room with shaded deck, tennis and basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a multi-use athletic field, and an expansive lawn.

The 23-acre park replaces a public space, fashioned in the mid-1970s, featuring earthen mounds and swales intended to encourage recreation and relaxation, and provide elevated views of the river. In the mid-20th century, the site had a field for high school football games that was surrounded by an oval track used for stock car races.

Photo: The Form of Wander, an abstract tree canopy, will be poised atop a pier along the west bank of the Hillsborough River.

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