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New art installation at North Beach Social

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:49 PM CST
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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A new art installation was unveiled last month at North Beach Social in Santa Rosa Beach.

Stretched across the exterior walls of the restaurant is a whale 30 feet wide and 12 feet tall, weighing in at about 800 lbs. In 2021, the owner of North Beach Social heard artist Andy Saczynski had one whale of an idea so he quickly offered the restaurant as the canvas.

“I’ve always had the idea of doing a life-size whale and when Jim Shirley heard about that and he couldn’t help himself but jump on board and give me the opportunity to do it. Couldn’t think of a better place to do it than right here at North Beach,” said Saczynski.

The whale isn’t just a pretty piece to admire, but it also serves to educate the public on one of the Gulf’s endangered critters, Rice’s Whales. According to NOAA Fisheries, there are likely fewer than a hundred left swimming in the Gulf.

“Around the same time, we started talking about this project a new species of whale was actually discovered in the Gulf, the Rice’s Whale. So we wanted to do a piece that honored Rice’s Whale and just the amazing thing that we actually do have whales in the Gulf that a lot of people don’t realize,” said Saczynski.

It took 55 hours to create the installation.

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