With one public art project already in the works to be installed at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, Royal Palm Beach’s Planning & Zoning Commission — which also serves as the Public Art Advisory Board — heard plans Tuesday, Jan. 10 for another piece of public art, this time at the Aldi Distribution Warehouse off State Road 7.
Artist Robert Fehre is looking forward to bringing his work called “Transcendence” to the public eye.
The proposed stainless-steel sculpture is 10 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The concrete base will expand it to 13 feet in height. It is slated to stand in front of the Aldi warehouse, located at 1131, 1141, 1151 and 1161 North State Road 7. The welded structure showcases three spires with three levels of horizontal circles in the center.
“It’s called Transcendence, which is a universal meaning of transcending into positivity and just being who you are as a person,” Fehre explained. “There is going to be lighting for the sculpture. There are going to be three lights to light up the sculpture from dusk until dawn, I believe. The proposed anchoring will be cinched down using concrete cinches. The piece will be welded.”
Fehre is a local artist with a large, welded sculpture commissioned by the City of West Palm Beach and located behind the Norton Museum of Art, where he is also a teaching artist. He also has a photographic piece as part of the permanent collection at the Orange County Convention Center.
Michael Lanford, representing R.P. Logistics LLC, was very enthusiastic about the project overall.
“It has been a great experience. I’m super excited to put this thing out here. It has been great, and I would put public art in front of all my buildings now if I could,” he said.
The commissioners were very supportive of the work and approved it unanimously. If approved by the Royal Palm Beach Village Council, fabrication will begin immediately, and installation will likely take place in June 2023.
“It looks really cool, man,” Commissioner Adam Miller said.
Commission Alternate Kara Cowser asked about public access to the site. “I really want to make sure his work gets seen by the public,” she said.
Lanford reassured the commissioners that the traffic along Aldi Way leads to another shopping center and other businesses and will certainly be in the public view.
Public Art Professional Mario Lopez Pisani returned with an update to the works of art planned for the Cultural Center. Instead of one commissioned piece and two purchased pre-existing photo collages, the village will still purchase one commissioned piece and the original American flag piece that was presented to the commissioners in December. The commissioners supported the changes.
In other business:
• During the regular Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, the board unanimously approved design updates to both the Taco Bell restaurant at 10115 Southern Blvd. and the Rooms to Go store at 161 South State Road 7. The latter is removing the existing arches and updating the façade. The new storefront will have more windows, the roof changed from barrel tile to metal, and the new colors will be white and off-white instead of the current earth tones.
• The commissioners rejected a request from a resident of Whitcombe Drive for a variance for a swimming pool to be built without the necessary rear setback — three feet instead of the required eight feet. The resident would like to build the pool to allow for aquatic therapy after having been in an accident. Village staff did not recommend approval, as it would grant special privileges. The commissioners voted 3-1 against the variance with Miller dissenting. The variance application will still be presented to the council at a future meeting.