By Estella R. Fullmer
For Hometown News
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The new Canal Street Center at the corner of Canal Street and U.S. 1, which should have its first store opening this week, now sports a clock on the front tower above the main door.
The clock is set in a ceramic sculpture created by local artist Jennifer Kerr-Marsch. The sculpture is a green wave design of high-fire stoneware clay as molding around glass tile.
"This is a piece that reflects the design of the building -- timeless, interesting, beautiful and created by local hands," Ms. Kerr-Marsch said. Her artwork tends to be light and whimsical with a flare for the beach and nautical motifs.
The local artist opened her own design studio within The Hub on July 7, 2012. She works on commission and offers a variety of ceramic and mosaic items for sale. The Hub is at 132 Canal St. just a few blocks down from the Canal Street Center and features a number of local artists.
As a gateway to the historic district of New Smyrna Beach, the clock sculpture is sure to become an icon and one of the main things tourists will remember in the coming years.
At a cost of $1 million, the Canal Street Center renovation has morphed the former Badcock furniture store building into a well-designed, multi-tenant building in the heart of the downtown arts district, according to Tony Otte, New Smyrna Beach Community Redevelopment Agency director. The site has been vacant for nearly seven years after the furniture store closed its doors. Targeted as a city blight area four years ago, it qualified for CRA grant money without which the renovation likely would not have occurred.
"The New Smyrna Beach CRA has played an integral role in the revitalization of this key commercial building on one of the busiest traffic corners in the city. Last year, the New Smyrna Beach City Commission approved a nearly $475,000 Opportunity Site grant to renovate the 15,500-square-foot building," said Mr. Otte, who also is city clerk. If everything goes according to plan, Total Vision should open its doors this week at the Canal Street Center.