A school of shimmering fish suspended among crystal bubbles and golden waves will now greet cruise guests entering Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 18 as esteemed public artist Larry Kirkland has installed his newest creation, “Cruising School,” into the homeport terminal of the world’s largest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Selected through the Broward County Cultural Division’s Public Art & Design Program, Kirkland created the suspended interior artwork for the two-story atrium lobby at Cruise Terminal 18 that complements the building’s cruise activities and enhances the cruise experience for embarking passengers. A swirling school of blue and green iridescent fish and large rolling golden waves greet passengers arriving at the terminal’s entryway atrium. The artwork is comprised of 300 painted aluminum fish suspended from a swirling oval bracket attached to the ceiling. Rotating on ambient air currents, the fish activate the space with changing reflections and cast shadows onto adjacent walls.
“Every week, an average of 12,000 guests pass through this lobby area of the cruise terminal on their way to cruise aboard the largest cruise ships in the world,” says Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak. “They will get a mini ‘wow’ in the lobby before the big ‘wow’ aboard the ship.”
Kirkland, a sculptor whose studio is based in Washington, D.C., received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from Oregon State University. In addition to pursuing the practice of public art for over 25 years, the artist has served as advisor and juror for numerous public art projects around the nation, including both the Oregon and Sacramento Convention Center projects. The artist’s versatility is demonstrated by over 100 large scale completed public and private commissions such as the Federal Courthouse in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Johns Hopkins University Asthma Research Center in Baltimore, the Putra World Trade Center in Malaysia, and artworks aboard megaships of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. As an artist member of the design team, Kirkland is currently in the process of creating a major artwork for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial which is scheduled to open in Washington, DC, in 2013. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.