HOPE springs eternal in University Area neighborhood

Artist Junior Polo, Prodigy Cultural Arts® students, and University Area residents helped paint letters spelling HOPE for a sculpture located in Harvest Hope Park in Uptown Tampa.
The sculpture, funded by Florida Blue, consists of bright, colorful letters constructed of treated wood and body filler that spell out the word “HOPE.” The heart-shaped letter “O” is filled with missives of hope written and submitted by people from near and far. When the sign comes down one day, these messages will be shared.

Originally from Haiti, Polo is an art instructor for the University Area CDC’s Prodigy® Cultural Arts program as well as a professional artist. He has created several art pieces on display, including the popular sculpture that spells out LOVE, located at the University Area Community Center grounds on 22nd street.
Additionally in Harvest Hope Park are a sculpture of a family and a vibrant mural that, along with area residents, Polo designed and painted. The mural was completed shortly before the park closed earlier this year due to COVID 19 and depicts two hands clasped together, one black and one white, with colorful surroundings.
The University Area CDC provides youth programs, adult education, and resource assistance. Its primary mission is the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk areas surrounding the University of South Florida's Tampa campus.

Leslie Farrell is President of Farrell Communications, Inc.
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