Friday, November 25, 2011

Trail Update - 11/25/11

Well, the flying turtle at city hall is the most recent victim of the sand terrorists. The sculpture was constructed of styrofoam and cement and I’d like to think that the turtle put up something of a fight. Takes a lot of moxie to attack public art directly outside of the police station -- I’m sure it gave the perp a great deal of satisfaction....

In other news: the Turtle Lady has been decapitated and both the surfer and the caterpillar are history. The Angry Birds Tiki and the butterfly castle live on, as does the fish/turtle sculpture that used to be the School of Rock. Or parts of it, anyway.

A less-determined soul would take this as a sign that this trail is just not meant to be -- but I vow to persevere. Some of the sculptures survive, and where the vandal hordes have left sad piles of sand, new sculptures will arise. (And we are looking at options for repairing the flying sea turtle as well.) We continue to learn what works and will be incorporating this new information into creating sculptures that have a better chance of surviving long enough to become truly hard.

But first: I have to go build something lovely in Huntington Beach, CA. I’ll be back on the trail (if the weather cooperates) in December. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Greetings from Ft. Myers Beach

Hope you SPIslanders are getting out and about to see and enjoy the new sculptures. I am getting ready to compete at the American Championship in FMB tomorrow and will be doing two more contests in the Sunshine State directly after this one -- but before too much time passed I wanted to extend a few great big "Thank Youse" to the folks who helped, including the Sea Ranch Restaurant, Dean & Alita Bagley, Don and JoAnn Evans, the SPI City Council, City Manager Joni Clark and her staff; the super-helpful folks at Public Works and Ken Dunkum for all their help and support. 

Also big thanks to the sculptors who stuck around and worked for far less than they deserved to help me get the party started: Wilfred Stijger, Edith Van De Wettering, Abe Waterman, JOOHeng Tan, and Suzanne Altamare. You guys went above and beyond and it was a whole lot of fun hosting you in my sandbox and watching the gears turn and the sand fly.

And finally huge thanks to Raybo. He is strong and smart and he gets the sand moved and the sculptures sprayed. I couldn't do without him, truly.

What's next -- We will continue to spray magic potion, but with less frequency. The sculptures will get harder and become less vulnerable to vandals. The caution tape will disappear. I may once again open up access to the online map -- or maybe I will make it a challenging game to encourage visitors to seek out the sculptures and discover them for themselves. I might drop clues such as "Go visit the nice folks at Paragraph's on Padre to find out where the closest stop on the trail is." This is an experiment and the rules will mutate.

Meanwhile, three more sculptures have been commissioned (two restaurants and a guest house) and several more are in the planning stages. If you think you are going to want to add your address to the Trail, you should probably talk to me about it soon as these sculptures are only going to get more expensive the busier I get. (And if enough orders come in we might even be able to get Edith and Wilfred back!) Learn more about how you can participate here.