ORLANDO -

The City of Orlando is working with a non-profit to place nine sculptures throughout downtown, hoping to make art more visible in the city and make downtown a destination.

Mayor Buddy Dyer says the sculpture project is privately funded, although the city will maintain the areas where the sculptures are placed.

Dyer came up with the plan along with See Art Orlando, the organization raising the funds. It's made up of representatives from Orlando arts establishments and private businesses.

According to Dyer the group already has the funding in place for 7 of the 9 sculptures. It hopes to secure the rest so that all nine can be in place by summer 2013.

"We've raised a little more than $1 million and we need a few more sponsors for nine pieces of sculpted art that'll be on a two-mile walking course," said Dyer.

See Art Orlando is opening the entries for artwork to an international audience, soliciting applications on its website seeartorlando.com. The art will be contemporary, not unlike the arc in front of city hall or the Tower of Light nearby.

Lake Eola Park will be home to the majority of the sculptures that will eventually make up a 2-mile walking course.

"I feel really good about it. I think now that we'll have a new arts center that will add a really nice touch to downtown Orlando," said Jennifer Castillo, who works downtown.