Public Art is Alive & Well in Dunedin, FL
What do we love about Dunedin? The people. The community. We love the events and celebrations that bring us together. We love cheering on our Dunedin Blue Jays and riding in golf cart parades. But when it comes to introducing someone to downtown Dunedin, the public art scene is our first and warmest welcome to the City.
Public art is more than something to observe while shopping, or the backdrop for our next selfie. It’s a reflection of the love that people have for their community, and in Dunedin’s case, that love is a tidal wave. You don’t have to look too far to see that it’s seeped into every corner, crack, and crevice. Walking from the downtown district into the residential neighborhoods, public art is aplenty in the form of murals, statue gardens, and architecture. Check out some of our team’s favorite public art, in and around downtown Dunedin!
Across the City of Dunedin, you can find nearly 1,000 oranges painted by the same artist, Steve Spathelf. Beginning in the early-2000’s, Steve began painting his oranges on homes throughout Dunedin. Over time, the piece has become a popular icon in the City and can be found throughout the community. (Source: ABC Action News)
Speaking of Dunedin’s adopted symbology, the community’s deep-seated love for our four-legged friends is far from a secret! Nicknamed ‘Dogedin’, the popular mural entitled ‘Welcome to Dogedin’ is the perfect introduction to the City’s culture. Check it out at the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue!
Welcome to Dunedin, Beach Town U.S.A.
Full disclosure: we’re totally biased about this mural. We love it for so many reasons – it’s a warm, friendly picture of Dunedin’s beachy lifestyle. It also happens to be adjacent to our sister restaurant, Bon Appétit, and features one of our popular event venues, Honeymoon Island! As an added bonus, the building is the Best Western laundry facility, so the entire street is flooded with the warm smell of clean laundry.
A standout piece in Dunedin’s public art scene – literally! This 3-D art piece outside the Dunedin History Museum is known as a bas-relief, which is a style of sculpture in which the sculpted element is attached to a background of the same material. This piece pays homage to the railroad lines that once bisected Dunedin, which today serve as the foundation of the Pinellas Trail. The piece, sculpted by artist Jerry Karlik, was unveiled in 2018.
Another figure that can be spotted throughout the town is the downtown dolphin statue! This is an idea that was launched by the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce in anticipation of the movie Dolphin Tail featuring Clearwater’s own Winter the dolphin. In Dunedin, these statues can be found at each of the Bon Appétit Group’s locations: the main office on Douglas Ave., Café Alfresco, Bon Appétit Restaurant, and Honeymoon Island!
Not only is the renovated building a gorgeous piece of property in Dunedin’s central shopping district, but the courtyard also contains some vibrant and distinct art. Check out the butterfly mural on the courtyard’s north end, and the giant Adirondack sitting to its south!
One of downtown’s newest developments, the Shops at Victoria Place, is a haven for Dunedin public arts. In addition to the sculpture pictured below, visit in person to check out the Painted Fish Gallery located at 200 Main Street, Unit #103.
Public art has been embraced so strongly by the local community that it has even seeped into the City’s wayfinding signage! We love seeing art used in a functional way. It’s a model that any community can follow and use to energize their local arts scene!
Art at the Artisan Apartment Complex
Living up to its name, the Artisan Apartment Complex houses a number of unique and funky local art pieces. The largest and most visually stunning piece is located on the building’s exterior south wall, which depicts a woman’s profile in shades of blue with a storm brewing within her outline. Walk around the building and you’ll find a barrage of floating umbrellas – this piece pays tribute to the Portuguese city of Águeda, which fills its streets with hundreds of colorful umbrellas during their annual Ágitagueda art festival. Lastly, we have another tribute on the building’s north end, this time to the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, which is famous for attracting love birds who immortalize their affection by securing a heavy metal padlock to the bridge.
While taking photos of Dunedin’s public art, we made two new friends on the Pinellas Trail!