In May 2018, the Palm Coast Arts Foundation launched a public sculpture program, THE TURTLE TRAIL. The purpose was to add to the identity of our community by providing an educational approach to art and the importance of the loggerhead turtle, which is indigenous to our coastal area. By the end of 2019, we will have ten of these loggerhead sculptures on the Turtle Trail. Each has their own story, each their own personality and identity.

Have you found them?

Our first turtle “Claude”, sponsored by Parkside Realty Group, sits in front of our outdoor stage in Town Center. The masterful work of Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s water-lily theme was beautifully recreated by artists Paul Beaulieu and Tom Anastasio. “Tiff” has been installed at Long Creek Nature Preserve off Palm Harbor Parkway, sponsored by Fred and Beth Allen and Terri and Rafael Medina. The art nouveau artist Louis Comfort Tiffany was the inspiration of this sculpture. Artist Ron Lace recreated the works of Tiffany on this turtle.

“Marc-Sea,” based on the Peace Windows at the United Nations building in New York, was the inspiration of sponsor Dr. Mark Vogel; and artist Paul Beaulieu recreated the imagery of this French-Russian artist Marc Chagall. Marc-Sea is located in Grand Haven, the first residential community to support this project.

“Pablo” was created in a collaboration between students at Old Kings Elementary School art club and the Flagler Palm Coast High School art club. The younger students researched and chose Picasso as the theme for their turtle. The high school students in turn created Pablo who was placed at his new home at Old Kings Elementary School, the marine sciences flagship school for the district. A perfect home for Pablo.

Coming soon…

”Quilty” will be a rendition of historical quilt artists of the 1700s and is being created by artist Bettie Eubanks. Quilty is born by sponsors Bill and Pat Verhagen (who also donated several sewing machines to the school district for the Sewing Club) and will be placed in a quaint park area off Colbert Lane and Waterfront Park in October.

Also in October, in honor of Founder’s Day, a special tribute turtle is being created by local artist Andy Sovia. The sculpture will be placed outside the Palm Coast Historical Society sponsored by volunteer Kathy Reichard-Ellavsky. “Garfield,” the animated character of cartoonist Jim Davis, will be the subject, providing the historical significance Garfield had in the early days of Palm Coast.

“Nadia” is being created by artist JJ Graham and will have the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas ballerina theme. Nadia was sponsored by an anonymous donor and will be unveiled in October in front of City Hall also in recognition of Founder’s Day.

There are several more turtles in the conceptual stage including “Vincent” a Van Gogh likeness of his purple irises, a turtle for the Flagler County Chamber office as a gift from their Leadership 2019 Class, and a Flagler Beach turtle.

Why is public art important? It brings a sense of pride, an identity to one’s community, and sense of place. Each sculpture is installed with a bronze plaque that identifies the turtle, the artist, and the sponsor; a statement about the importance of the loggerhead to our community; and the historical artist in which the concept is derived as well as the month/year of the unveiling. Each sculpture comes with its own unveiling ceremony. This project will be ongoing with the hopes of placing new turtles on the trail each year. A Turtle Trail map will be created in early 2020 identifying the locations and names of each of the turtle sculptures.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a turtle can contact the Palm Coast Arts Foundation at [email protected] palmcoastartsfoundation.com or 386-225-4394 – artists who want to participate in the project, should send a link to their work – www.palmcoastartsfoundation.com.

Nancy Crouch