Florida’s Council on Arts and Culture selected Nilda Comas to sculpt a new sculpture for the U.S. Capitol Building’s National Statuary Hall. The sculpture will replace the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith and will portray either civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, who started a private school for African-Americans; George Jenkins, founder of Publix supermarkets; or Marjory Stoneman Douglas, activist of the Everglades. Florida’s state legislators will select the subject of the sculpture early next year.
Comas graduated from the New York Academy of Art and did post-graduate studies at Accademia de Belle Arti di Carrara in Italy. She learned marble carving at the Studio Franco Cervietti in Italy and continues to carve in Italy for part of each year. She became an elected Sculptor Member of National Sculpture Society in 2008. For Comas, “sculpture is an emotional language, converting abstract space into a solid mass.” She explores “the human emotions and feelings that have been constant throughout the history of humankind, including passion, joy, love, melancholy and victory.”
Comas volunteers as the visual arts curator for the Venetian Arts Society in Fort Lauderdale, the city where she has resided for thirty-four years. Her “Seminole Girl” sculpture strides along Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk; her sculpture of actress Kaye Stevens is in a Margate park and her sculpture of a skating child delights visitors to Colee Hammock. While she waits to learn who her subject will be, Comas is working on installation for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Doral and on plans for a monument to Argentinian General Jose de San Martin for Miami.