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‘Shark Spotting’ public art installation debuts in downtown Venice 3/5

On Thursday, March 5, community leaders will unveil Venice Shark Spotting, a public art installation featuring bronze sculptures of 10 shark species native to the area’s waters.

A gift to the City of Venice from Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the roughly 10-inch-long sculptures have been permanently installed in different locations throughout downtown Venice. A bronze plaque in Centennial Park informs visitors of the family-friendly exhibit and invites them to search the avenues to find all 10 sharks.

Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod, City Manager Ed Lavallee and Public Works Director James Clinch will be among representatives from the City at the formal debut, set for 10 a.m. March 5 near the Interactive Children’s Fountain in Centennial Park, 200 W. Venice Ave. The event is open to the public.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation logoGulf Coast Community Foundation’s Jon Thaxton will discuss the inspiration for the gift and the interactive and educational opportunities presented by the new, nature-focused artwork. Artists from Sarasota’s Bronzart Foundry also will be on hand to discuss the combination of centuries-old and cutting-edge techniques they used to bring life-like detail to the miniature sharks they exquisitely sculpted and cast.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Gulf Coast Community Foundation commissioned the bronze sculptures and plaque and gifted them to the City of Venice for a permanent public art display. The native shark species — living and prehistoric — pay homage to Venice’s longstanding and beloved association with sharks and shark teeth. The installation aims to add fun and education to Venice’s already vibrant downtown, all in recognition of a charitable organization created by the community that it continues to serve today.