New ‘Pelican Path’ artwork installed at Port Everglades
The Pelican has landed at Port Everglades.A metallic pelican took flight Tuesday at the Broward County seaport as the final piece of a new artwork was installed in its Cruise Terminal 4.The big bird — now suspended in the air — is part of the 4-foot by 40-foot ceramic mural dubbed “Pelican Path” created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada.
The artwork, which includes a water-themed backdrop made from 1,440 handcrafted and hand-painted porcelain tiles, illustrates Cortada’s interpretation of the ripples created when the pelican’s webbed feet slap the water as it takes flight.
The inspiration for the artwork came from a photo the artist took of a pelican during a trip to the Florida Keys several years ago.
“As a kid I was attracted to them,” Cortada said as he guided the installation of the large brushed-aluminum bird. “There’s something just really beautiful about them.”
The artwork attempts to connect cruise passengers who travel through the terminal to what they’ll see aboard a ship — the sea, the shore and the sky.
“It’s like a passenger going on a cruise ship as it leaves the ripples behind in its wake,” Cortada explained. “Or the passenger getting on a ship and leaving their problems behind.”
It also serves as a visual guide to help move cruisers through the terminal’s ticketing area to boarding, hung in a way that points the proper direction.
In 2013, another Cortada creation titled “Starfish Shuffle” was installed in Cruise Terminal 2 as part of improvements there.
Port Everglades is home to more than 30 installations of public art, presenting an investment of nearly $1.7 million, said Leslie Fordham, administrator of the Broward County Cultural Division’s public art and design program.
Funding for the public art installed in Port Everglades comes from fees paid by port users and not from taxpayers, she added.
And coming next to Cruise Terminal 4 will be a new glass artwork by artist Dale Chihuly, which is expected to be installed in August.
Pelican Path’s installation follows a recent $24 million enhancement of Cruise Terminal 4 that included 50 additional check-in counters, new restrooms, new elevators and escalators and a high-efficiency air conditioning system. Exterior improvements included new covered ground transportation areas for passenger pick-up and drop-off and 172 additional parking spaces.
“It’s very cool. I can’t believe it’s finally happening,” Cortada said as he watched the pelican take flight Tuesday. “I’m happy he’s here now.”
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