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Northdale: Sculpture finds new home: the Northdale Rec Center

When the original owners decided to move to Arizona, they couldn't take it with them.

Published February 13, 2004

NORTHDALE - The Northdale Recreation Center, already the home of a popular after-school program and spirited pick-up basketball games, added a dose of culture Tuesday afternoon with the dedication of a piece of public art.

The steel abstract sculpture, entitled Mandala, was created in 1982 by Tampa artist Jerry Meatyard. The work was commissioned by Robert and Susan Greenberger, who parked it in the back yard of their home in Avila.

But when the Greenbergers decided to move to Arizona last year, they couldn't take the sculpture with them, said Public Art Coordinator Jan Stein. Deed restrictions in their new community wouldn't allow it.

"They were moving from Tampa to a community in Arizona and they weren't allowed to display it outside," Stein said of the sculpture, which she said has a market value of about $20,000.

So the Greenbergers decided to donate the piece to the county.

Stein said a college intern worked with Meatyard to restore the sculpture, which had weathered over the years.

Public Art Committee member Ted Corwin took on the task of scouting for a location for the piece. In one day, Corwin drove 120 miles across Hillsborough County looking for a suitable spot.

He suggested the Northdale Recreation Center and the rest of the committee agreed.

"Northdale came up empty. There was nothing here," Stein said. "So this is the first piece of public art in Northdale."

The 6-foot by 6-foot sculpture, a burgundy steel frame encasing stainless steel free-floating parts, was installed on a protective planter in December. Stein said the idea was to create an attractive frame for the piece that would also keep kids from climbing on it.

Meatyard, 74, was honored at the dedication and welcomed by about 100 members of the Northdale Owls seniors club, which came out in force for the event.

"I'm still having fun creating things," Meatyard said.

- Logan D. Mabe can be reached at 269-5304 or at

[Last modified February 12, 2004, 12:51:07]

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