The Sponsor-A-Sculpture Program is a project whereby various citizens, groups or businesses adopt one of the City’s outdoor public artworks or sculptural installations for purposes of ensuring that they are at all times properly maintained. But unlike the City’s Adopt-A-Road or Adopt-A-Park Programs, participants do not clean or perform other maintenance work on the sponsored sculptures. Rather, sponsors underwrite the costs of having an experienced team of art experts (known as conservators) do this delicate, highly-specialized work.Ena En La Plaza Sculpture

The Public Works Department is the primary department in organizing the program and establishing guidelines for the participation of sponsors. In brief, the program has the following features:

  1. The City of Fort Myers’ Public Art Committee will recruit citizens, groups or businesses that will Sponsor-A-Sculpture.
  2. These participants will choose the sculpture or sculptural installation they wish to sponsor and pay the costs of having it inspected, cleaned and otherwise maintained once a year by a qualified and experienced team of art experts known as conservators.
  3. The sponsor(s) may be on hand at the time the annual maintenance is performed, but they may not, under any circumstances, participate in the inspection, cleaning, repair and maintenance of the artwork. At completion of work, the sponsor(s) will be given a report of the work performed that contains before and after images and other relevant information.
  4. The City’s Public Art Committee will provide a list of the City’s outdoor public artworks that are included in the Sponsor-A-Sculpture Program.
  5. The Public Art Committee will install a sign at the sculpture or sculptural installation designating the individual(s), group(s) or business(es) that have sponsored the artwork. The cost of signage will be paid from the City’s public art fund.
  6. The sponsor will also be identified as such on Otocast, a free mobile phone app to which the City subscribes for purposes of informing the public about the artworks in the City’s public art collection and the artists who created them.
  7. The sponsor will also be identified as such on the public art page of the City’s website and included in all press releases that are issued by the City from time to time in connection with the artwork.
  8. The City shall require each sponsor to execute a Sponsor-A-Sculpture Letter of Agreement to be approved by City Council.
  9. The term of each agreement will be two years. The sponsor will have the right to extend the sponsorship for additional two-year terms if they so desire.

Why Sponsor-A-Sculpture?Stacked Brands

The marketing reach and impact of Sponsor-A-Sculpture goes far beyond the maintenance, preservation and promotion of our outdoor public artworks. When you sponsor a sculpture, your company’s name will be displayed at the artwork and your company's logo will be prominently displayed on Otocast, a free mobile phone app that tells residents, shoppers, tourists and other visitors all about the art they see downtown and in art hubs throughout the City. Your logo is visible 24/7, making tens of thousands of impressions every day not only locally, but on people around the world who are planning trips to Southwest Florida. And not only do our sponsors get recognition for being culturally conscious and increase their brand awareness, they also get to meet, and enjoy networking opportunities with, the artists who create the work, the conservators who maintain it and the public art professionals who administer and promote the City’s growing public art collection.

Having engaging, well maintained sculptures, murals and mosaics in art hubs throughout our City is a big deal. Urban planners, economists and public art professionals have identified more than three dozen interrelated benefits that are derived by the people who live, work in and visit communities with vibrant public art programs. Put simply, by enhancing quality of life, public art not only boosts civic pride and productivity, it engenders greater economic opportunity by encouraging/increasing tourism and attracting businesses, and the service industry and creative class workers they most want to employ. Sponsor-A-Sculpture ensures that our artworks always look their best, and the savings on maintenance costs can be used to acquire additional works of art and create and expand art hubs in underserved communities.

No matter the size of the company, from large corporations to single retail shops, our sponsors are making a difference in their communities, neighborhoods and all of Southwest Florida.

Sculptures in Need of a Sponsor 

Sculpture Artist Location Sponsored BY
Tootie McGregor unknown Ward 4, McGregor Blvd. 
Fort Myers Country Club
In Need of a Sponsor
Spirit of Fort Myers Helmuth von Zengen Ward 4 McGrgor Blvd. 
Entrance to Edison Park
In Need of a Sponsor
82nd Airborne Monument Andrew McGowan Ward 4, Park of Palms,
NW corner of Edwards 
Dr. and Lee Street

In Need of a Sponsor
Florida Panthers  Don D.J. Wilkins Ward 4, Median on 
Monroe St. across from 
entrance into Caloosa Sound 
Event Center
In Need of a Sponsor
Uncommon Friends  Don D.J. Wilkins Ward 4, Monroe Street 
Entry to Centennial Park East
In Need of a Sponsor
Great Turtle Chase  Don D.J. Wilkins Ward 4, Monroe Street Entry 
to Centennial Park East
In Need of a Sponsor
Buckingham & Page Army 
Air Field Monument
Unknown Ward 4, Centennial Park East In Need of a Sponsor
USCT 2nd Regiment 
Monument (Clayton)
Don D.J. Wilkins Ward 4, Centennial Park East In Need of a Sponsor
Wes Nott Memorial  Don D.J. Wilkins Ward 4, Wes Nott Park, 
Lee Memorial Hospital campus, 
southbound Cleveland Avenue
In Need of a Sponsor
Lux, Caloosahatchee 
Jim Sanborn Ward 4, sidewalk in front of 
Sidney & Berne Davis Art 
Ctr 2301 First Street
In Need of a Sponsor
Parallel Park  Marylyn Dintenfass Ward 4, Lee County 
Justice Center Parking Garage, 
corner of Monroe Street and 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
In Need of a Sponsor
Fire Dance David Black Ward 4, Centennial Park West 
At Heitman Street Entrance
In Need of a Sponsor
Marks & Brands  Peter Mitten Ward 4, Cornag Plaza, Fort Myers 
Regional Library, off First Street
In Need of a Sponsor
What Dreams We Have 
and How They Fly 
Cheryl Foster Ward 3, along MLK, Jr. Blvd.
 in Clemente Park in Dunbar 
In Need of a Sponsor
Al Galope (The Horse) Edgardo Carmona Ward 1, Billy Bowlegs Park  In Need of a Sponsor
Anquila (Eel) Edgardo Carmona In storage at City nursery In Need of a Sponsor
Apareo (Symphony) Edgardo Carmona In storage at City nursery In Need of a Sponsor
Cadenda (Bongo Drummer) Edgardo Carmona Ward 1, Roberto Clemente Park In Need of a Sponsor
Caracol  Edgardo Carmona In storage at City nursery In Need of a Sponsor
Deshove Edgardo Carmona In storage at City nursery In Need of a Sponsor
Don Quijote Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, Outside entrance to Greater 
Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, 
Bay Street
In Need of a Sponsor
Duo Sinfonica (Flute Player) Edgardo Carmona IMAG History and Science Center In Need of a Sponsor
El Filo (Knife Sharpener) Edgardo Carmona Ward 2, Urban Community Farm In Need of a Sponsor
Ena En La Plaza 
(Ribbon Routine) 
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, Collaboratory In Need of a Sponsor
Faena En La Plaza 
(Unicycle Juggler)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, on sidewalk outside 
First National Bank Building 
SE corner of First and Hendry
In Need of a Sponsor
Juego De Ajedrez 
(Chess Player)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, on sidewalk outside 
Adirondack Chocolatier on 
north side of First Street between 
Hendry and Jackson Sts.
In Need of a Sponsor
Juego De Domino  Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, on south side of First Street 
between Broadway and Hendry 
Streets at north entry to Patio de Leon
In Need of a Sponsor
Mambeo  Edgardo Carmona Ward 1, Roberto Clemente Park  In Need of a Sponsor
(Music Lover)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, along River Basin near 
City Pier Building (to be relocated 
to Edison & Ford Winter Estates)
In Need of a Sponsor
Negacion A Baco 
(A Park Bench)
Edgardo Carmona In storage at City nursery In Need of a Sponsor
Nostalgia De Cuerda Edgardo Carmona - In Need of a Sponsor
Sintonia (Nostalgic Tune
on Radio)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, along River Basin 
near City Pier Building
In Need of a Sponsor
Trialogo (Cyclist and Dog) Edgardo Carmona Ward 3, S.T.A.R.S. Complex In Need of a Sponsor
Territoorias (Man and Dog 
Marking their Territory)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, corner of Main and 
Hendry Streets
In Need of a Sponsor
Utopia (Boy Fishing 
from Bucket) 
Edgardo Carmona Ward 3, IMAG History and Science Center In Need of a Sponsor
Vendedored De Frutas
(Female Fruit Seller)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 2, Urban Community Farm In Need of a Sponsor
Vendedores De Raspaos
(Snow Cone Vendor)
Edgardo Carmona Ward 4, south side of First St. 
between Broadway and Hendry
outside Franklin Shops on First

In Need of a Sponsor


Sculptures That Have Been Sponsored

Sculpture Artist  Sponsored BY
Lorelei  Emma Elisabeth Phinney Sponsored by Fort Myers Lee County Garden Council
Standing Thomas Don D.J. Wilkins Sponsored by Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Seated Mina Edison  Don D.J. Wilkins Sponsored by Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Standing Henry Ford Don D.J. Wilkins Sponsored by Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Naiad  Albert Paley Sponsored by the Riviera-St. Tropez HOA

Sponsor A Sculpture – How It Works

Just as Adopt A Highway, Adopt A Road and Adopt a Street programs keep our roadways clean, our Sponsor A Sculpture program helps us keep our public artworks in tip-top shape - free of dirt, grime, debris, water stains, rust, bird droppings, chipped paint, graffiti and other damage, and biological growth. From the Sponsor’s perspective, it provides a great marketing and branding tool.

When you sponsor a sculpture, the City of Fort Myers by and through its Public Art Committee:

  • fabricates a tasteful sponsorship sign that contains your company name and logo;
  • installs the sign at a conspicuous place at the base of the sculpture;
  • places your company name and logo on a sponsorship wall on the City’s website;
  • identifies your company as the artwork’s sponsor on Otocast, our free mobile phone app that describes each of the public artworks in our collection and tells the public where they are;
  • arranges for periodic inspection, cleaning and routine maintenance of the artwork you sponsor by Parks & Recreation Department employees; and
  • arranges and oversees maintenance of the artwork by a qualified and experienced art conservator or conservation team on a biennial basis.

All of our sponsorship programs are customizable to best fit each Sponsor’s requirements.

Sponsorship Has Its Benefits

In addition to the impressions your sign receives by residents, workers, shoppers, tourists and other visitors who see and interact with our public artworks, Sponsors derive a number of other benefits, including but not limited to:

  • signage in parks, on roadways and in art hubs not otherwise accessible for advertising purposes;
  • signage that creates and strengthens brand awareness and visibility to art lovers, casual observers and cultural tourists;
  • access to multi-national markets through promotion of Otocast and the City’s public art webpage to tourists and out-of-state and international business travelers;
  • marketing through social media and direct marketing pieces at the time you initiate your sponsorship and in advance of and during the artwork’s biennial maintenance by our outside conservation team; and
  • networking and photo ops through meet-and-greets and receptions with visiting artists and our outside conservation team.

Reaching Your Target Market

Reaching your customers is always the goal of any marketing effort, and research shows that more and more, people prefer to relax, unwind and spend time in green spaces, parks and art hubs that offer aesthetic and intellectual stimulation. In fact, “the aesthetics of a place – its art, parks and green spaces” rank higher as “drivers of attachment” for most people than a town’s education system, safety and the local economy. At least that’s what the Knight Foundation and Gallup discovered in 2011 when they surveyed 43,000 people in 26 cities about what they wanted most from their communities. And people reward with their business those companies who protect, preserve and promote these drivers of attachment.

While artworks attract both art lovers and casual observers, “art hubs” entice a wide range of people, from theater-goers to diners, retail employees, shoppers and professionals. That is a chief factor in the Public Art Committee’s decision to aggregate or cluster artworks in neighborhoods and business and economic redevelopment districts that cater to a wide variety and cross-section of people having diverse and far- flung interests, but who may want and need the very type of products or services you offer.

Finally, art hubs and art and cultural landmarks also appeal to cultural tourists. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, roughly eighty percent of the 150 million adults who travel more than fifty miles from their homes can be considered “cultural tourists.” Thirty percent of adults state that specific arts or a cultural or heritage event influenced their choice of destination on their last trip. Cultural tourism and the interest in culture among travelers--particularly affluent, active, and frequent travelers-- are on the rise. According to the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO), global cultural tourism (trips with the main or concomitant goal of visiting sites and events with cultural and historic value) is forecast to increase by fifteen percent in the coming years.

Cultural tourists are a coveted component of the travel and leisure industry. Cultural and heritage travelers are typically well-educated and technologically savvy. As a whole, they typically stay longer, spend more, and are more likely to travel by air and use lodging and car rental services when they arrive at their destination. (On average, cultural tourists spend 60% more than the traditional domestic leisure traveler, at $1,319 per trip compared to $820.) And they are more likely to notice and patronize companies that sponsor the public artworks that they see and interact with. Driving this growth are not only Baby Boomers, but Millennials and Gen-Xers who prize authentic and immersive travel experiences. For the latter demographics, it’s more about truly being somewhere - as opposed to just going somewhere – immersive, experiential, educational and intellectually invigorating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an Adopt-A-Highway program and Sponsor A Sculpture?

An Adopt-A-Highway program typically relies on volunteers to go out and pick up litter two to four times per year. Because the materials typically used to fabricate public artworks require specialized knowledge, products and care, their routine and annual maintenance requires the education, training and expertise of a qualified art conservator.

What is an art conservator?

Art conservators are responsible for ensuring that art of any age will survive to be enjoyed by future generations. A large part of their duties involves the physical stabilization of works of art through various treatments. Since art conservation requires knowledge of both art and science, art conservators typically hold either a master's degree in conservation or historic preservation or a graduate degree in a closely-related field together with specialized training in conservation through a certificate or diploma program.

Shouldn’t the City pay the costs of maintaining its public artworks?

The City’s public art program was established and operates under an ordinance that only requires the City to make contributions to its public art fund when it constructs a capital improvement project or CIP. Not only do CIPs not provide an assured revenue stream, other expenses must be paid from contributed funds such as signage, promotional fees, subscription fees for the Otocast mobile app and new acquisitions. Private developers, including governmental agencies like the State of Florida and Lee County, are not required and therefore rarely make contributions to the City’s public art fund. As a result, the Public Art Committee needs the participation of the private sector to properly maintain the 43 sculptures and sculptural installations that currently comprise the City’s outdoor art collection.

May we choose any artwork?

A list of the artworks that need a sponsor is provided above.

What does it cost to Sponsor-A-Sculpture?

Our outside conservators have provided the Public Art Committee with a budget estimate for the maintenance of each outdoor artwork in the City’s collection. Their price reflects the size, materials and complexity of the sculpture or installation and is based in large part on whether the work required must be performed by a conservator, conservation technician or some combination of the two, the number of hours/days the work involves, the materials (e.g. epoxies, primers, topcoat and UV protection) and equipment (e.g. sprayers, scaffolding or lifts) that is required. The budget also includes a prorated allocation for transportation, travel time and lodging calculated on Fort Myers’ GSA per diem rates that are affected by the month in which the work occurs. We will be pleased to provide you with a total for the artwork you are interested in sponsoring.

Is there a minimum commitment?

Yes, sponsors commit to a two-year contract since the foregoing services are to be performed on each of the City’s artworks every two years. Since we must schedule this biennial maintenance by our outside conservator(s) months in advance, and due to the time involved with sign design and installation, we do not offer either a month to month option or pledges.

What if the actual cost of cleaning and maintaining the sculpture exceeds the budget estimate?

That can happen, as the inspection may reveal damage or material failures that require extraordinary repairs or even full-scale conservation. Under these circumstances, the City will pay these excess costs out of other funds that have been set aside in the City’s public art fund for such contingencies. You are only responsible for the amount you pay upon signing your Sponsor-A-Sculpture Letter of Agreement.

Can we share sponsorship with another individual or company?

Sponsorships can be shared for those artworks or installations whose biennial maintenance exceeds $2,500.

What are we allowed to put on the sign?

Your company name, logo and a QR code that links viewers to the URL containing your website or Facebook page.

Can we be present when the conservator(s) work on the artwork we sponsor?

You are welcome to watch our conservation team work on the artwork you sponsor. While you may not participate in the work, our conservation teams encourage your interest.

Will there be time for us to ask questions and receive explanations?

Due to the nature of the work and the drying times involved when using commercial grade detergents, fungicides, herbicides, epoxies, primers, paints and polyurethanes, it may not be possible for the conservator(s) or conservation team to contemporaneously respond to questions or provide you with concurrent explanations of what they are doing. However, the Public Art Committee will host a reception that includes a Q&A so that you will have a reasonable opportunity to meet the team and receive the answers and explanations you desire.

What do I have to do to Sponsor-A-Sculpture?

Simply choose from a list of available sculptures, send us your signed agreement and pay. We do all of the rest, which includes manufacture and installation of your sign, identifying you as a sponsor on Otocast and scheduling and overseeing the biennial maintenance. As indicated above, we will also provide exposure to you and your company through posts in social media outlets and direct marketing, including appropriate press releases.


History of the City of Fort Myers Public Art Collection 

The City of Fort Myers has been quietly building a public art collection for decades. Its earliest public artwork, the Tootie McGregor Fountain, dates back to 1913, with The Spirit of Fort Myers (popularly known as Rachel at the Well) at Edison Park on McGregor Boulevard being cast by sculptor Helmuth von Zengen in 1926. In 1959, local resident Evelyn Rhea devised an 1880 white marble sculpture of a German siren named Lorelei to the local library, but it would be another 30 years before North Fort Myers sculptor D.J. Wilkins began casting a host of representational sculptures beginning with the Henry Ford Bust in 1985. The next fifteen years would see the “Sculptor of Fort Myers” add landmarks like The Florida Panther Countdown to Extinction (1988), Uncommon Friends (1988), The Great Turtle Chase (2000) and the USCT 2nd Regiment Monument (2000) to the Centennial Park landscape, the Harborside Collection of busts in 1989, and the Wes Nott Statue at Lee Memorial Park (2000). In 2001, Florida Power & Light Co. gave the city Caloosahatchee Manuscripts (the Jim Sanborn light sculpture that bathes the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in illuminated letters after dark) to commemorate the conversion of its power plant from oil to natural gas. But it was not until 2004 that the city established a formal public art program.

Fort Myers Percent for Art Ordinance

In 2004, Fort Myers enacted a public art ordinance. The ordinance, which was amended and restated on April 17, 2017, obligates the City to pay into a public art fund one percent (1%) of the cost of vertical capital improvement projects with a construction value of $250,000 or more. The ordinance also applies to remodels of city-owned buildings where the construction value of the remodel is fifty percent (50%) or more of the buildings’ replacement value (provided that the building has a replacement value of at least that amount). The contribution is capped for projects of $25 million or more at $250,000.

While the city’s obligation to contribute to the public art fund is mandatory, participation is voluntary on the part of:

  • property owners and private developers;
  • applicants for planned unit developments; and
  • federal, state and other local governmental agencies, including multijurisdictional instrumentalities and entities.

Of course, each of these groups is encouraged to make a one percent contribution or install their own artworks on developments of $250,000 or more, PUDs of $250,000 or more, and remodels with a construction value equal to or more than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the building being remodeled or rehabilitated.

Fort Myers is one of more than three dozen Florida municipalities and a dozen counties that have adopted percent-for-art ordinances. Among the Florida cities that have enacted public art ordinances are Bradenton, Bonita Springs, Boynton Beach, Clearwater, Coconut Creek, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Dunedin, Fort Worth, Gainesville, Homestead, Jacksonville, Key West, Lauderhill, Largo, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Naples, North Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Pompano Beach, Port St. Lucie, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Sunrise, Tamarac, Tampa, Tarpon Springs, Village of Key Biscayne, Village of Palmetto Bay and West Palm Beach.


Fort Myers Public Art Committee

Monies contributed to the city’s public art fund are administered by a 9-member Public Art Committee (which consists of 7 voting members and 2 alternates). Members serve for three year terms, are not compensated, and must either be a resident of the city, work in the city, or be a member of an arts board or committee that is located in the city. The Public Art Committee oversees the commissioning, review, installation and maintenance of public art within the City.


The Committee is advised and served by a Public Art Consultant, who functions as an independent contractor. Neither the Committee nor its Public Art Consultant have any staff or employees, but rely instead on City staff for administrative, secretarial, IT and other services.

Benefits of Public Art

Urban planners, economists and public art professionals have identified thirty-eight (38) interrelated benefits that are derived from a vibrant public art program from the people who live, work in and visit a community:

  1. boosts/strengthens civic pride;
  2. enhances and defines a city’s identity;
  3. reflects the unique character and history of the city;
  4. burnishes the city’s image to the outside world;
  5. creates an important positive impression for visitors;
  6. encourages/increases tourism;
  7. enables the community to attain recognition as a regional and national leader in the visual arts;
  8. symbolizes a community’s maturity;
  9. expresses the vision of community leaders;
  10. makes a statement about the community’s values and culture;
  11. elevates the image of proximately-located corporate enterprises;
  12. spurs economic development in the community;
  13. creates visual and aesthetic landmarks;
  14. creates positive mental images;
  15. imparts a more aesthetic, cohesive visual and physical appearance;
  16. enriches the public environment visually;
  17. makes the beautification of the city a matter of the highest priority;
  18. enhances the climate for artistic creativity in the community;
  19. brings art and art education to the entire community;
  20. creates public art community partnerships linking individuals of all races, ethnicities, age, genders, professions, and economic levels;
  21. stimulates our imagination;
  22. promotes excellence and diversity through a variety of artists and media;
  23. provides tangible outlets for creative ingenuity;
  24. increases property values;
  25. enriches the cultural climate of the city;
  26. reflects and enhances the city’s diversity, character and heritage through the integration of artworks and designs in the architecture, infrastructure and landscape on public and private property;
  27. makes a space seem more welcoming;
  28. creates a deeper interaction with the place one is visiting or working in;
  29. increases awareness of how surroundings impact experience;
  30. expresses shared ideals and concepts;
  31. enhances the quality of life for residents and property owners;
  32. adds to the visual quality of life;
  33. engages the community;
  34. draws people together and induces strangers to talk to each other;
  35. raises the level of citizen awareness to the importance of aesthetic and intellectual experiences in everyday life;
  36. promotes understanding and awareness of visual arts in the public realm;
  37. makes a commitment to future generations; and
  38. creates “human scaling” of open areas by framing the space with various forms of public art structures.

In fact, many of these factors are cited by the City of Fort Myers in the preamble to its public art ordinance.