The two week Public Art Show “Turtles” is a first time effort for the Bridge Street Merchants Association and part of the 9th annual artsHOP celebration of arts and culture on Anna Maria Island; It’s free to check out the show and all turtles are for sale via an online auction that runs until the show ends at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 15th

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Turtle Auction Ends Sunday

The two week Public Art Show “Turtles” is a first time effort for the Bridge Street Merchants Association and part of the 9th annual artsHOP celebration of arts and culture on Anna Maria Island. It’s free to check out the show and all turtles are for sale via an online auction that runs until the show ends at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 15th.

49 turtles, all cut from the same 3 feet-in-diameter wooden template, are currently displayed at 15 different businesses on historic Bridge Street at the south end of Anna Maria Island.

The art pieces, some serious, some silly, illustrate how important sea turtle protection is to the island community and beyond. “I was so excited to give Suzi Fox (Director of AMI Turtle Watch) a sneak peak before the show went up on the 1st, and she was nearly moved to tears, “ says Amanda Escobio of the Bridge Street Merchants Association.

The turtle theme brought together artists of all ages and experience, using everything from finger paint, to stained glass, to reclaimed wood, to fabric, to shell and sand. One piece was done by a four year old, while another by someone with 4 decades of experience selling her fine art oil paintings internationally. Students from Manatee School for the Arts and Anna Maria Elementary, along with collectible, well-known local artists, and residents in the Bradenton Beach community, with little to no experience in creating art, all donated their time and talents for this Public Art Show.

An artist’s statement is displayed with every piece, and also included in the online auction listing, to tell about each artist’s motivation for the unusually-shaped piece. Every statement is different, with one thing in common- a genuine love for the sea and her creatures. A listing of each turtle and its location is available at visitbridgestreet.com and also printed out for easy pick up at any of the 15 locations.

Auction proceeds will be split between the artist/organization who created the piece and the Bridge Street Merchants Association, a 501 c6 not-for-profit, who in turn supports several local charities including: Roser Food Pantry, Feeding Empty Little Tummies, AMI Community Center, Moonracer Animal Rescue, and Food Bank of Manatee. -more-

Some of the artists have already opted to donate their own portion to a specific charity. Wildlife Inc. will be the beneficiary of “The Terrors of the Terrific Turtle”, a piece created by a 9 year old Anna Maria Elementary School Student as an important reminder of the serious hazards facing one of his most favorite animals. Palma Sola resident Beth Humphrey plans to give any proceeds from her turtle “So it Ends…So it Begins” to a local Greyhound Dog organization. So far neither one of these pieces, along with several others in the show has found a home.

Bidding is expected to heat up as the week progresses, and a “buy it now” option exists. Connie Morrow, a Bradenton Beach resident, fell in love with “Tattoo Turtle” displayed in front of the Hive early in the show. “I went for ‘buy it now’ because I knew this was the one I wanted.” Bidding and “buy it now” prices vary piece by piece, with many under $100 and a few at more than $500.

See visitbridgestreet.com for more information or call 941-896-2222

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