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Monday, Dec 11, 2017
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Tampa artist previews reflections on Tampa

TAMPA - Artist Susan Gott has turned bits of Tampa's history into glass works of art, and soon her cast-glass creations will beautify Zack Street. Gott's work is part of a $1.2 million project to turn Zack Street into an artsy, pedestrian-friendly downtown thoroughfare leading to the banks of the Hillsborough River. Gott proposed the cast-glass artwork concept a little more than a year ago. She provided a preview of her work Saturday at her Seminole Heights studio. To craft the artwork, she used a variety of mold-making materials or used an actual object and pressed it into a type of casting sand. That sand served as a mold, and molten glass was poured into it to make impressions of the objects. After the glass cooled, it was removed from the sand, resulting in cast-glass tile.
Sixteen tiles will be glued into an 8-foot-tall framework, she said, and installed on Zack Street next month. Gott said she carefully selected different items for tiles that she felt were crucial in telling Tampa's story. The tiles include an Ybor City cigar press and a balustrade from the H.B. Plant Museum. "I kind of called it vignettes of Tampa," she said. "Each tile is a vignette." At the Plant Museum in March, Gott took a plastic mold from a cabinet that sat in the Tampa Bay Hotel's grand salon. She also took a mold of a "tragedy mask" from a wall of the Tampa Theatre's entrance. "I'm ecstatic about the result," she said of the project. "I think it not only is a really interesting art piece but it'll encourage a dialogue about Tampa."

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