Mermaid Sculpture Project
Call to Artists

Destination Mermaids – The Tail Trail!

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Mermaid Sculpture Project Call to Artists!

Destination Mermaids – The Tail Trail!

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For over seven decades, Hernando County has been home to the Weeki Wachee Mermaids. Over the years, the beauty of the river, the natural spring, and the mystical mermaids have captivated audiences all over the world. In 2020, the Florida Mermaid Trail was developed to bring that magic to Brooksville on the east side of the county. Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau, Brooksville Main Street, and the Hernando County Fine Arts Council are excited to announce a new artistic opportunity for artists and patrons: Destination Mermaids – The Tail Trail.

Destination Mermaids – The Tail Trail will launch on the 75th Anniversary of Weeki Wachee Springs, commemorating the long history of mermaids in our community. These life-sized statues will be unveiled in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park for the Anniversary Celebration and on display throughout the festivities. Once the celebration is over, they’ll be moved to their permanent locations on The Tail Trail, running throughout Hernando County.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via email to allisa@hernandoarts.org or be delivered to the Brooksville Welcome Center at 205 E Fort Dade Ave, Brooksville, FL 34601 (address to Allisa Babor). Artists must submit the following information:

  1. Four images from your portfolio. Each portfolio image should be accompanied by a title/name, description, and list of mediums used. If you are emailing, please rename the files to include the name of the piece so the committee may clearly identify each work.
  2. Mermaid designs must be submitted on 11” x 17” sheets. The downloadable sheets on this page show the front and back views of the statue. Each artist will submit no more than 3 design specs. Each design must be on separate 11” x 17” sheets. Write your name and mermaid’s name on each submission, along with the words “TT 2022.” Additional 11”x 17” sheets are available for pick up at the Brooksville Welcome Center at 205 E Fort Dade Ave, Brooksville, FL 34601.
  3. With each design, include a written description of your mermaid.
  4. Please provide an artist statement or resume and include your current address, phone number, and email address.
  5. The manufacturer requires a solvent-based paint in order to ensure a flawless finish. Please provide the brand of the paint you plan to use in your submission information.

Download Mermaid Templates

Selection Process

A panel of regional art professionals will review all submissions. At the committee’s discretion, selected artists’ designs will be placed in a portfolio. Sponsors will choose their mermaid from the portfolio. The committee reserves the right to approve all mermaid designs. Artists are required to paint only what has been approved by the committee.

Ownership & Proceeds

Destination Mermaids – The Tail Trail is a public art project; the partners, Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau, Brooksville Main Street, and the Hernando County Fine Arts Council will retain ownership of the mermaids until they are sold and will retain copyright on all designs in the portfolio that are produced into Mermaids. Net proceeds will benefit the Partnership for ongoing maintenance programs and ongoing activity in support of the arts in Hernando County, Florida.

Artist Responsibilities

Hernando County Fine Arts Council will pay an honorarium of $1,000 to artists selected and matched with a mermaid sponsor. Artists are expected to pick up and transport statues to and from the Brooksville Welcome Center, located at 205 E. Ft. Dade Ave., Brooksville, FL 34601, at their expense.

Payment will be made to artists at the time the completed statue is delivered to the Brooksville Welcome Center. If a design changes radically from the initial proposal, a new design specification must be submitted to and approved by the committee. If the design changes radically and no new specs are submitted and approved, the artist will not receive the honorarium and the statue will not be utilized as a part of the program. No politically-themed mermaids, corporate logos, religious icons, professional or collegiate team Mermaids will be accepted.

Please review the timeline for information regarding deadlines for pick-up and delivery of statues.

This is a free-standing outdoor fiberglass mermaid. No fabric, collage, decoupage, or attachments will be accepted. The manufacturer requires a solvent-based paint and will apply an industrial clear-coat to protect the artwork. Artists must provide the brand of paint they intend to use in order to ensure compatibility with the final finish. Artists are NOT to apply any other finishes to the statue. Artists are responsible for the cost of all materials related to completing the selected designs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the description of the statue?

The statue weighs approximately 80 lbs; dimensions are 6’ tall and 32” in diameter.

Is there a paint requirement?

Yes. The manufacturer requires a solvent-based paint and will apply an industrial clear-coat to protect the artwork. Artists must provide the brand of paint they intend to use in order to ensure compatibility with the final finish.

How long will I have to complete the project?

Artists will have 5 weeks to complete their statues. (Please note: We are receiving the statues in 3 batches, therefore pickup/dropoff dates will vary. Artists will all have 5 weeks to complete their statue. See the schedule below for potential dates).

What is the project timeline?

  • April 11, 2022: Call to Artists is opened.
  • May 31, 2022: Call to Artists closes. Submissions must be received by no later than 5 pm.
  • June 4, 2022: Artists will be notified of acceptance.
  • June 17, 2022: Statue pick up for 1st batch of mermaids.
  • July 29, 2022: Statue return no later than 5 pm for 1st batch of mermaids.
  • July 8, 2022: Statue pick up for 2nd batch of mermaids.
  • August 19, 2022: Statue return no later than 5 pm for 2nd batch of mermaids.
  • August 5, 2022: Statue pickup for 3rd batch of mermaids.
  • September 9, 2022: Statue return no later than 5 pm for 3rd batch of mermaids.
  • October 13, 2022: Unveiling Event

Am I required to pick up the statue?

Yes. The statue will need to be picked up at and returned to the Brooksville Welcome Center, located at 205 E. Ft. Dade Ave., Brooksville, FL 34601.

Will I be required to participate in any video interviews?

Yes. Artists must agree to participate in video interviews during the following press events: Meet your Mermaid (upon arrival of statues), During the paint/decorating process (Our videographer will coordinate visits to your studio), and during the Unveiling Event on October 13th.

How will the artists be credited?

Each statue will have a plaque on the cement base that includes the artist’s name and a QR Code that links to the website which will have artist biographies and contact information.

Will there be an unveiling event?

Yes, the unveiling will be held on October 13, 2022, at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Artists must be present and available for interviews throughout the event. The final event schedule is to be announced.