Latest turtle “hatches” on Art Trail

A sea turtle sculpture in front of ABISPI, the latest sculpture on the Sea Turtle Art Trail. Photo courtesy of SPI CVB.

Special to the PRESS

Art Business Incubator (ABISPI) is home to the latest sea turtle on South Padre Island’s Sea Turtle Art Trail.

Being the eighth sea turtle sculpture on the Sea Turtle Art Trail, and the first to capture the sea turtle’s life cycle from nest to ocean, artist and Kingfisher Gallery owner Sandy Margret brought together the beach, waves and water.

The style mirrors her approach to artistic home furnishings as well. Margaret specializes in commissioned paintings, custom furniture design, home remodeling and collecting and curating art from the best local artists in the Rio Grande Valley.

Margaret has a Master’s degree in Art from NYU and left teaching over ten years ago to realize her dream of starting a gallery. Her approach to her art tends to reflect an appreciation of color and light, and her goal was to visually create a depiction of the entire life cycle of the sea turtle. The base is nesting sand with dozens of turtle eggs, and the hatchlings are shown flowing over the beach one the back of the adult female as they make their way toward the ocean ribbons of waves on the turtle shell.

Hope is the heart of the design, according to Margaret.

“Built into the overall design is the hope that when people look at the statue of the turtle, they begin to realize that it’s not just the animal we need to protect,” said Margaret. “It is the beaches where they nest, it is the inshore jetties and rocks where they grow and gain strength, and it is the deep open oceans where they live and breed.”

South Padre Island is renowned for being one of the world’s foremost spots for the rescue and rehabilitation of sea turtles including the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

The Art Business Incubator is dedicated to giving both new art businesses and existing art businesses support to establish and sustain themselves in the South Padre Island economy. The mission of the Art Business Incubator is to enhance destination development that attracts visitors both on and off-season. Every year, five artists are accepted into the ABI SPI program.

During this time, these emerging art-related entrepreneurs are granted access to their own studio space and gallery space, along with training in business, resources like administrative and sales support, and more. Most importantly staff provides a comfortable and supportive learning environment for the in-resident artists so they may develop and refine their business skills.

The City Of South Padre Island and the South Padre Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), which are sponsors of the Sea Turtle Art Trail, hope to continue expanding the Trail.

“We are already seeing our turtles embraced by visitors and the community alike,” noted  Ed Caum, South Padre Island’s CVB Director. “We plan on continuing our artistic celebration of these magnificent creatures for years to come.”

All turtles on the Trail are arranged for ease of both social distancing and selfies.

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