SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — This coastal city is continuing to showcase its local marine life and artists through a variety of artwork displayed around the area.
The City of South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) unveiled a world record mesquite sea turtle carving Monday afternoon at the Sea Ranch Restaurant.
According to CVB personnel, the sculpture is a record-breaking tribute to South Padre Island’s sea turtles.
The hand-carved sculpture is seven-feet, 10-inches tall and eight-feet long.
Additionally, it weighs 400 pounds and is six-and-a-half-feet wide.
The sculpture was created by local artist Andy Hancock, along with the help of his friend Carlos.
“I worked with a local builder to put this together, and he’s just brilliant,” Hancock said. “His attention to detail is first class.”
Made entirely from mesquite wood, the sea turtle sculpture has a variety of light and dark shading.
“I don’t paint so I use a blowtorch,” Hancock explained. “I love burning the wood because it just gives it a more organic look.”
According to Hancock, the solid mesquite sea turtle sculpture took a few months to create and has a price value of $5,000.
The City of South Padre Island and Sea Ranch Restaurant owner Bob Friedman co-founded the sculpture.
“Friedman said it’s time for the Island to have a symbol of both recovery and resilience — something definitely exemplified by sea turtles,” a press release from the city states.
From a dolphin gateway to a dolphin bench, Hancock has been creating large outdoor sculptures for the Friedman family since 2004.
“The Friedman family have been big supporters of the arts,” Hancock said. “People love the sculptures and the Sea Ranch is famous for them.”
Hancock said that within the past 15 years at least one million people have posed for pictures with the dolphin sculptures he’s created for the Sea Ranch Restaurant.
According to CVB personnel, the city is continuing to augment their visitors’ attractions with more public art of all different kinds.
“The sculpture celebrates the new turtle nesting and hatching season, and ties in to the new Sea Turtle Trail the Island is hatching,” the press release states.