Mandalas Restoration Grant
August 26, 2019
North Port, FL – The City of North Port prides itself on its rich and historic culture. One of the City’s most unique pieces of art is getting the restoration it needs, thanks in part to a grant the City recently received.
The City of North Port applied for the grant in May 2019 and was awarded $5,500 from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for the restoration of the “Mandalas for World Peace” sculpture located at Warm Mineral Springs Park. This funding has extra meaning, as the Foundation was one of the original donors for the construction of the sculpture in 2012.
The symbolic circular mandalas were created by artists from around the world. Individual mandalas were made/designed by John Cheer and 14 other artists. After over a year of planning, fundraising, and creation, the sculpture was installed in November 2012. The sculpture consists of 18 3D clay mandalas set against a backdrop of thousands of glittering blue cups in the 9 x 5 foot, 600-pound piece of art. Materials used for the sculpture include clay, glass, copper wire, stainless steel, aluminum, and wood. There are four cornerstone plaques on the sculpture: Truth, Love, Wisdom, and Balance.
The sculpture has been displayed outside at Warm Mineral Springs Park since its installation, and over time has become weathered. The clay mandalas and cups are mounted on wood and the wood has begun to rot, causing part of the sculpture to separate. The mandala supporting posts have started to rust. The sculpture was removed from its outdoor location in April 2019 to prevent further damage. The total cost of restoration is estimated at $11,000. The City applied for the grant in May 2019 and has committed $5,500 in the 2020 budget to fund the rest of the restoration cost.
“We’re grateful to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and our Commission for making the restoration of this piece of art a priority, and look forward to it being proudly displayed again,” Parks and Recreation Director Sandy Pfundheller said.
Work is set to begin in 2020 and John Cheer, the original designer of the piece, will reprise his role in helping to restore it.