The Mermaid Tale Trail
Call to Artists

Now Accepting Applications for 2024!

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The Mermaid Tale Trail Call to Artists!

Now Accepting Applications for 2024!

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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, in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Weeki Wachee Springs, the Florida Mermaid Trail was developed to spread that magic to Brooksville and throughout all of Hernando County. Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau, Brooksville Main Street, and the Hernando County Fine Arts Council are excited to announce the next round of a special artistic opportunity for artists and patrons – The Mermaid Tale Trail!

The second round of Mermaid Statues will be created and unveiled in 2024.
We invite regional artists to apply to paint one of the 20 mermaids that will be unveiled on November 2, 2024. Once the unveiling day is complete, the Mermaid statues will be moved to their permanent locations and publicly displayed at local businesses and various public locations throughout Hernando County. This public art project aims to provide an accessible, free, and unique experience for all who live, visit, and work in Hernando County. The recent addition of digital passport is driving additional visitation to the mermaids.

The statues weigh approximately 80 pounds and are 6’8” tall. After they are painted, they will be clear coated, and then mounted on a concrete base, with a plaque identifying the artist and patron affixed to the base. Submissions must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, July 26th. For more information, please read the Frequently Asked Questions. Direct questions to Tammy Heon at or Michelle Rose at

How To Apply

Applications should be submitted via the artwork submission portal below.

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. Please name 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 enclosed/attached sheets 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 20224. Additional 11”x 17” sheets are available by email.
  3. With each design, include a written description of your mermaid and her name.
  4. Please provide an artist statement or bio, and include your current address, phone number, and email address.
Mermaid Tale Trail Logo

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.

NOTE: It is important to note that Mermaid Sponsors have a different expectation than the average mural sponsor. In order to ensure that we meet the sponsor’s expectations, we ask artists to commit to the design submitted and deliver a final mermaid that accurately reflects the design selected by your sponsor.

Artist Responsibilities & Rules

  • The Tale Trail Committee will pay an honorarium of $1700 to artists selected and matched with a mermaid sponsor.
  • Artists are expected to pick up and transport statues to and from a storage unit located at the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport, 2205 American Flyer Way, Brooksville, FL 34601, at their expense.
  • Payment will be made to artists in two installments. The first installment, of $500, will be paid at Mermaid Pick-up, ensuring the artists have the funds for the required paints. The final payment will be paid when the completed statue is returned to the storage unit.
  • The project requires professional auto paint and will have an industrial clear-coat to protect the artwork. Receipts for proof of purchase of the correct paint will be required. Artists who do not use automotive paints will not be compensated. A local vendor of custom automotive paint colors, Custom Paints has graciously agreed to provide a 10% discount to all participating artists. They have stunning colors! Check them out at or find them at 13140 Spring Hill Drive. Be sure to tell them you’re painting a mermaid.
  • No politically-themed mermaids, corporate logos, religious icons, images of guns or violence, professional or collegiate team Mermaids will be accepted.
  • No licensed artwork or icons will be accepted.
  • This is a free-standing outdoor fiberglass mermaid. No fabric, collage, decoupage, or attachments will be accepted.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Ownership & Proceeds

Destination Mermaids: The Tail Trail is a public art project; the partners, Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau, Brooksville Main Street, and 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the description of the statue?

The statue weighs approximately 80 lbs; dimensions are 6’8” tall and 34” in diameter.

Is there a paint requirement?

Yes. The required paints for this project are professional automotive paint ONLY. This requirement was decided with the statue/sealer vendor. It is imperative that the paints used are compatible with the clear coat product and process.

How long will I have to complete the project?

Artists will have 6 weeks to complete their statues.

What is the project timeline?

  • June 1, 2024: Call to Artists is opened.
  • July 26, 2024: Call to Artists closes. Submissions must be received by no later than 5 pm.
  • August 16, 2024: Artists will be notified of acceptance.
  • August 19, 2024: Statue pick up begins; appointments must be made for pick-up at storage unit.
  • September 30, 2024: Statue return, due no later than 5 pm; appointments must be made for return of your statues to ensure a member of staff is standing by to receive the mermaid.
  • October 2024, Exact date TBD. The Florida Mermaid Festival and Mermaid Unveiling Event will be held in Tom Varn Park, Brooksville

Am I required to pick up the statue?

Yes. The statue will need to be picked up and returned to our storage unit, located at the Brooksville Tampa Bay Airport. The street address is 2205 American Flyer Way, Brooksville. A staff member will need to meet you there; please call 352.754.4405 to arrange your pick-up and drop off times.

Will I be required to participate in any video interviews?

Yes. Artists must agree to participate in video interviews during the following press events:

During the paint/decorating process (Our videographer will coordinate visits to your studio), and during the Unveiling Event. An unveiling ceremony will be held once the mermaid statue is delivered to its final location, Artists are asked to attend for a video of the unveiling.

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. Additionally, the videos are permanently displayed on our YouTube channel.

Will there be an unveiling event?

Yes, the unveiling will be held on November 2, 2024. Artists must be present and available for interviews throughout the event.