By Kathleen Storey, Cummer Museum Intern
Have you ever been to the Veterans Memorial Arena and looked up to the sky? If you have, then you’ve probably seen the “Talking Continents.” But if you haven’t, you might want to keep reading.
The Talking Continents are six, 6’ tall statues made from fiberglass, steel and LED lights. Each figure is in a kneeling position and perched atop a 30’ high pole happily greeting the guests arriving to the arena. The six figures symbolize the six inhabited continents of the world and the LED lights located inside regularly change colors, making it seem as though the figures are communicating with each other. All six figures can be seen by each other, helping their silent communication be fulfilled.
The artist, Jaume Plensa from Barcelona, Spain, said “The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is a meeting place for people. ‘Talking Continents’ is based on a desire to unite and complement the complex group of elements that make up the area. The seated figures are talking in colors. Their silent conversation is directed to us as a universal language of rhythms and colors and serves as a way to invite people to enjoy the area.”
So next time you’re going to watch your favorite artist perform, or watch a great Jacksonville Sharks game, look to the sky for the Talking Continents, you won’t be disappointed.
Check out the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Gallery for more great public art.