A sculptor whose work you'll soon see on the edge of Lake Eola remembers when the Orlando landmark was a place you probably didn't want to visit.
Jacob J. Harmeling is the only local artist whose work is part of "See Art Orlando," a series of eight permanent public sculptures meant to bring more culture to downtown.
Now, said Harmeling, "It's beautiful all around there and it's only getting better and placing large sculptures from eight different artists is really going to bring it all together."
Harmeling's "Cedar of Lebanon" will stand three stories high near the intersection of Osceola Avenue and Central Boulevard.
He said he has always been inspired by trees and the opportunity to sculpt one for his hometown is "something I've been looking forward to since I was a child."
With the help of others—including his wife and business partner Jaquelyn—Harmeling has spent the past six months hand bending sprinkler pipe, cutting it, and welding it into a tree at Qui Design Studios in College Park.
The sculpture will be lit from within.
Mirrored stainless steel canopies meant to represent leaves will be placed on its branches. The surfaces will reflect the light and the people below.
"Come out and enjoy art and hopefully see yourself in it and grasp what art does for the community and your soul," Harmeling said.
"Cedar of Lebanon" will be installed this week.
All eight See Art Orlando sculptures, which have been paid for through private donations, are expected to be in place by mid-November.