We quickly created the concept of a woman standing in a confident pose in front of a mirror with the words LOVE THYSELF across the top. When viewing our sculpture from the front, YOU are her reflection in the mirror.
Being accepted as one of the UMA artists (in year #2 of existence) was an honor. The process of figuring out how we would create our sculpture was quite an experience that continually pushed me way outside of my comfort zone. We had big ideas out of the gate and explored a lot of different directions for production. Along this creative journey, I learned so many new things and connected with many wonderful creative thinkers... and I think I pushed many of them out of their comfort zones as well, which excites me. Ultimately, everyone we worked with were all from our local community, and I thoroughly enjoyed making these connections.
Fellow artist, VELIA LALA, is well known in the area for her work with body casting. She was excited to contribute to the project and I was happy for the opportunity to have my own body cast for the concrete portion of the sculpture. I loved connecting and working with V at her new shop/studio, and I know this is just the beginning of our creative partnership.
Kyler Fitch of EMERALD COAST MOBILE WELDING was open to working with my crazy and ever changing ideas - he is the go to guy for welding all over the Emerald Coast.
Eric Shackelford, owner of DESTIN METAL SHOP, helped to engineer the structure, source materials, and very graciously allowed us to work in his shop.
Eric and Maurice, along with Anne Hunter, Rachel Herring, my husband Neal Bern, and of course my parents, were all great cheerleaders and therapists for me when needed. Thanks to everyone for believing in me.
I’m grateful to be a part of this unique and historical public art development. The next challenge on my to do list is getting scuba certified so I can go visit her in the Gulf... I can’t wait to see the progression of growth and sea life that our art is adding to the ecosystem.