Tur­tles Help­ing the Town

Auc­tion of 50 sea tur­tle sculp­tures col­lab­o­rate art, en­vi­ron­ment and char­ity

RSWLiving - - News & Views - BY KLAUDIA BALOGH

Fifty log­ger­head sea tur­tle sculp­tures, ar­rayed in col­ors of the sea, land and air, will find a for­ever home at the Tur­tles on the Town auc­tion in Naples. The high­est bid­der not only receives a piece of art, but sup­ports im­por­tant Col­lier County char­i­ties―Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Col­lier County, Conservanc­y of South­west Florida and United Arts Coun­cil of Col­lier County.

The event on Wed­nes­day, March 9, is at the Conservanc­y Na­ture Cen­ter in Naples. With the 30th an­niver­sary of the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion in 2015, Eileen Con­nolly-Keesler, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Col­lier County, says, “We thought it’s a great way to tie en­vi­ron­ment, art and char­ity to­gether.”

The 50 sea tur­tles “hatched” in Novem­ber, when they were placed at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Col­lier County, where they re­mained till Fe­bru­ary. The tur­tles were em­bel­lished by a lo­cal artist or ar­ti­san work­ing with a life-size fiber­glass sculp­ture. The base was pro­vided by the late Naples artist Kathy Spald­ing, an en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cate and arts sup­porter. Tur­tles on the Town is an im­por­tant project and ben­e­fit hon­or­ing log­ger­head tur­tles, but also pay­ing trib­ute to Spald­ing’s le­gacy. The de­signs of the tur­tles vary from paint, to tile, to shells and some out-of-the-box ap­proaches.

Auc­tion pro­ceeds will be di­vided equally among the three or­ga­ni­za­tions. Gala par­tic­i­pants will en­joy cock­tails, hors d’oeu­vres and a seated din­ner in the com­pany of the 50 auc­tion tur­tles and the artists who cre­ated them. Open for auc­tion also an alu­minum tur­tle crafted by artist David Ashen­bruner, and a bronze log­ger­head tur­tle cre­ated by Spald­ing.

Con­nolly-Keesler says the first time the 50 sea tur­tles were all to­gether in Novem­ber had a strong emo­tional im­pact. “Hav­ing all the 50 sea tur­tles at one place is breath­tak­ing,” she says.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit turtleson­thetown.com

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