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Burlington City Arts

Mermaid House

Artist: 
Leslie Fry

84 North Avenue
2003, patinated forton with copper, stainless steel, fiberglass
 
This piece was commissioned by Housing Vermont in conjunction with architect Michael Wisniewski. To help tie the building to the site’s history and tradition, the sculpture includes physical features of the location’s past incarnation. For example, the hat worn by the mermaid is from an 1812 soldier’s uniform. More recently, there was a Shell gas station at this location, hence the scallop shell at the end of her tail. Her hair is made of jumping perch from Lake Champlain. The sculpture serves as a traditional architectural bracket, as well as a supporting figurehead for this building shaped like a ship.

Photograph by Leslie Fry