The John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park Project is one of Dunedin's most active green spaces and holds regular events, concerts, movies, and markets. As one of the most used spaces, the park needed enhancements to update features and improve accessibility. In an effort led by the City of Dunedin and Community Redevelopment Agency and funded by the CRA, the park underwent a renovation in early 2021 including brickwork on the stage steps and inset lighting, updated plaques at the entrance, brick pavers, stained concrete, sitting/knee walls, trees, landscaping, and a public art feature.
The public art component was the last piece to be completed at the park. A subcommittee of the Arts & Culture Advisory Committee (ACAC) was tasked with reviewing the Public Art project as a piece of the larger renovation project. The Project Subcommittee was chaired by ACAC member Jackie Nigro, with representatives from the Neighborhood, the Arts community, the Project Planner, a Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee (CRAAC) member, and a member from the ACAC.
A Request for Qualifications was issued in July 2021 for which seven applicants responded. The subcommittee narrowed down the applicants to a finalist selection and reviewed virtual proposals in August 2021.
The selected artist, Suzi K. Edwards, was endorsed by the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee. Suzi was presented and approved as the selected artist with her "Below the Wall" theme for mosaic panels by the City Commission on October 19, 2021.
The public art project, awarded in the amount of $18,500.00 to Suzi K. Edwards, was funded through the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) through its efforts to enhance and improve John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park.
Suzi K. Edwards is an accomplished mosaic artist with works across the United States ranging from private to public applications up to $100,000.00. Suzi has had numerous workshops, residencies, and has been featured in several publications. She works out of her studios in New York and West Palm Beach. Suzi developed the theme "Below the Wall", a concept depicted in the mosaic murals installed on the knee walls show a variety of Dunedin-centric images -- people and activities from "the knees down" -- a ball player sliding into base, the legs of beach goers walking on sand, the kilt, shoes and socks of a Scottish lass and lad, and more. The colorful images were handcrafted, designed, painted, and kiln-fired tiles made by Suzi in her studio. The field tiles used are a mix of colorful 1" tiles.