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Walking Club: Look for sharks, seahorses and mermaids in Venice!

Walking Club: Look for sharks, seahorses and mermaids in Venice!
Walking Club: Look for sharks, seahorses and mermaids in Venice!
Posted at 9:26 AM, Nov 10, 2021

Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started 'Sarah's Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

The addition of colorful seahorses and mermaids is making the city of Venice even more beautiful! Plus, if you look closely enough downtown, you’ll find tiny bronze sharks.

The Venice Art Center is behind FantaSea Venice. There are more than 50 sculptures on the streets of the city. Check out a map here. Organizers say business owners are loving the extra attention.

“They have said that a lot of people are coming in,” said Mary Moscatelli, Venice Art Center executive director. “They’re taking pictures. They’re stopping in for a drink or dinner.”

Moscatelli says the public arts project is going to last for about two years. The sculptures will be taken off the streets in spring 2023 and auctioned off.

If you’re feeling inspired by the designs, pick up a blank mini mermaid or seahorse sculpture for sale at the Venice Art Center. The smaller sculptures can also be shipped all over the country.

Go “Shark Spotting” in downtown Venice too!

While you’re admiring the bright seahorses and mermaids, keep an eye out for sharks!

You can go “Shark Spotting” by looking for ten small, bronze shark sculptures scattered around downtown.

The sculptures are anatomically correct and feature living and prehistoric sharks.

“We chose a couple of extinct species of sharks as well because we wanted to be educational as well and that would give us an opportunity to talk about extinction,” said Jon Thaxton, Gulf Coast Community Foundation Senior Vice President for Community Investment.

It’s best to start your search at Centennial Park. Follow this map to find all ten.

This permanent art installation marked the Gulf Coast Community Foundations 25th anniversary.

“We located the sharks in front of businesses to bring people out of their cars, walking around the main streets of Venice, getting the exercise that many of us need, but also enabling them to window shop or perhaps go into these businesses in Venice,” said Thaxton.

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming Walking Club stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter