Palm Coast - The developing arts culture in Palm Coast just got a little brighter.
A vibrantly colored loggerhead turtle sculpture named 'Nadia' was unveiled and dedicated Tuesday, Sept. 17 in front of City Hall among an adoring crowd of supporters and the local artist behind it, JJ Graham.
This marks the second turtle sculpture to be dedicated to the City as part of the Palm Coast Arts Foundation's Turtle Trail. Nadia was sponsored by an anonymous donor.
"We are so grateful to the Palm Coast Arts Foundation for valuing public arts as one of their essential priorities," said Vice Mayor Nick Klufas during a speech at the event. "Their Turtle Trail increases the use and enjoyment of our parks and public venues and helps us build a cohesive cultural community while establishing a rich new history."
There are five turtle sculptures throughout Flagler County promoting the arts to incite enthusiasm and offer a fun project for families in the community to learn about some of the state's most majestic creatures.
Two of the turtles in the trail reside in the City of Palm Coast. The first turtle to be dedicated to the City last October is named 'Tiff' and is located at Long Creek Nature Preserve. The City will be gifted two more turtles in the future - one at the Palm Coast Historical Society at Holland Park and one at the Palm Coast Community Center.
"Public art is an important element to the cultural environment of any city or town; a focal point that adds to the charm and character of the landscape," said Nancy Crouch, Executive Director of the Palm Coast Arts Foundation. "Watching the Turtle Trail grow has been quite rewarding and matching an artist with a sponsor whose inspiration is clearly identified by works of historical artists results in a magical merger from concept to creation."
Nadia is located just steps from the doors to City Hall. There is a plaque in front of the fiberglass sculpture that outlines a few details for admirers to read. There is also an educational component to the art since the loggerhead is a federally designated threatened species.
Named for its massive block-like head, the loggerhead is Florida's most common sea turtle. Florida's sandy Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches host one of the largest loggerhead nesting aggregations in the world. Females return to their nesting beach every two or more years to lay four to seven nests, one about every 14 days. Each nest contains about 100-126 eggs that incubate about 60 days.
Below is some background to the Turtle Trail along with future turtle sites. Turtles in order of their date installation:
Claude (Claude Monet) - sponsored by Parkside Realty Group
May 2018 - artists: Paul Beaulieu and Tom Anastasio
location: in front of the outdoor stage at the Palm Coast Arts Foundation in Town Center (1500 Central Ave)
Tiff (Louis Comfort Tiffany) - sponsored by Beth and Fred Allen and Rafael and Terri Medina
October 2018 - artist: Ron Lace
location: Long Creek Nature Preserve (off Palm Harbor Parkway)
Marc-Sea (Marc Chagall) - sponsored by Dr. Mark Vogel
March 2019 - artist: Paul Beaulieu
location: Grand Haven
Pablo (Pablo Picasso) - sponsored by Palm Coast Arts Foundation Trustee, G. Lindsey Florence
June 2019 - artists: Flagler Palm Coast High School art club (in collaboration with Art Club of Old Kings Elementary School)
location: Old Kings Elementary School (the marine sciences flagship school)
Nadia (Edgar Degas) - sponsored by anonymous donor
September 17, 2019 - artist: JJ Graham
location: City Hall
Quilty (based on 1700's quilt artist Betty White) - sponsored by Pat and Bill Verhagen
October 10, 2019 (10:00 am) - artist: Bettie Eubanks
location: private park at Waterfront Park and Colbert Lane
Garfield (based on animated character of Jim Davis' Garfield cartoon) - sponsored by Kathy Reichard-Ellavsky
October 26, 2019 (11:30 am)
location: Palm Coast Historical Society at Holland Park
Vincent (Van Gogh) - sponsored by Dave and Patti Paukovich
location: Palm Coast Community Center