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.

Applications and Selection Process

The application period has closed, and our team of judges has selected the Artists whose designs are included in the Portfolio of Art, from which our sponsors will select their desired artwork. In all, we received nearly 100 submissions, making the juror’s jobs very challenging! Thank You to everyone that submitted artwork for this project; the variety and beauty of the art submitted is just phenomenal.

Congratulations to those artists listed below; their designs have been selected for inclusion in the Portfolio of Art.

Angela Farinelli
Arielle Katarina
Autum Proctor
Bailey Gumienny
Brian Morris
Chris Van Vooren
David Hendrickson
Deborah Newman
Diane Liptak, Steve Krou
Gary Duquette
Hilary Frambes
Janice Uribe
Jesse Simon
Joan Casadiego
Karen Governale
Karen Heidler
Kaylee LaPlaca
Kiara Hernandez
Liza Compass
Lydia Byrd
Lynn Shaffer
Lynne Simone
Maria Tonelli Smith
Marti Vitulli
Mckenzie Montecalvo
Melanie Dilly
Rachel Ford
Rachelle Gearhart
Renata Villemaire
Rita Taverni
Robin Stewart
Roxanne Marie Campbell
Sally Yoder
Tyler Harris
Victoria Maxim

The Portfolio of Art is now being shared with our sponsors, who will select from the approved designs. It will take a few weeks to get through the entire selection process. We will notify each Artist as their design is selected by a Sponsor. Please note that a total of 36 designs were selected for the Portfolio; a total of 25 Mermaids will be created at this time.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tammy Heon at theon@FloridasAdventureCoast.com. We look forward to working with you to create The Tail Trail!

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

Brooksville Main Street 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 2 batches, beginning in mid-July, 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 opened.
  • June 13, 2022: Call to Artists closed.
  • June 14, 2022: Artists notified of acceptance.
  • July 9 – July 16, 2022: Statue pick up for 1st batch of mermaids. Please note we are currently confirming delivery date. This will be updated as soon as the trucking is confirmed. 
  • July 13 – July 20, 2022: Statue return no later than 5 pm for 1st batch of mermaids. Exact date will be determined once pick-up is determined.
  • July 30 – August 6, 2022: Statue pick up for 2nd batch of mermaids. Exact date to be determined.
  • September 3 – September 10, 2022: Statue return no later than 5 pm for 2nd batch of mermaids. Exact date to be determined.
  • 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. Please note, the statues are quite large, you will need a truck or other large vehicle to pick-up and return your statue.

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.