Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Dedicates Ullberg Park and Sculpture of Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle to Honor Local Artist, Educate the Public about Endangered Species

Sculptor Kent Ullberg, who works out of studios in Loveland, Colorado and Corpus Christi, Texas, was honored by the City of Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department on Wednesday, March 16. The City re-named the Padre Island park at 14125 Jackfish Avenue "Ullberg Park." The location was formerly known as "Seagull Park." The event also marked the unveiling of Ullberg's bronze sculpture, "The Journey's End."

(PRWEB) April 12, 2005 -- Sculptor Kent Ullberg, who works out of studios in Loveland, Colorado and Corpus Christi, Texas, was honored by the City of Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department on Wednesday, March 16. The City re-named the Padre Island park at 14125 Jackfish Avenue "Ullberg Park." The location was formerly known as "Seagull Park." The event also marked the unveiling of Ullberg's bronze sculpture, "The Journey's End."

The nine-foot piece depicts two endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles returning to the beach where they were born to mate and lay their own eggs, beginning an ageless cycle once more. The park and sculpture are intended to help with efforts to educate the public about the struggling species. The Coastal Bend area of Texas is leading worldwide efforts to protect and release the endangered animal.

"They normally name parks after people who aren't with us any longer," noted Ullberg. "Though premature, it's quite an honor, and I'm pleased to also help efforts to save an endangered species." An accomplished diver, Ullberg has shared the water with sea turtles many times.

The sculpture took about six months to create, including many hours of observing and sketching turtles at the Texas State Aquarium. He was also able to handle them and take measurements. The cost to cast the sculpture was covered by donations from area residents and grants from the Arts and Cultural Commission and the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.

Donna Shaver, chief of the division of sea turtle science and recovery, has worked for 25 years to bring attention to the fragile nesting habits of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle. In that time, she has incubated, nurtured and released more than 30,000 sea turtles on the Padre Island National Seashore.

It's the aim of the Beautify Corpus Christi Association to designate Padre Island as the sea turtle capital of Texas. The park has undergone improvements of more than $25,000 through the efforts of the Association, the Padre Island Rotary Club and the City of Corpus Christi working together to create a master plan for the park, including improved irrigation and landscaping, added benches and walkway upgrades. These are the first improvements to the park in 30 years.

Following the dedication, a reception was held at the Padre Isles Country Club to recognize major donors to the project. Ullberg held a book signing of his "Monuments to Nature," with proceeds going toward future improvements at Ullberg Park. Special acknowledgement was given to organizations and area residents that made the project possible, including Padre Island Rotary Club, The City of Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department, The Arts & Culture Commission, The Coastal Bend Community Foundation, The Padre Island Property Owners Association, Island Architects, Mr. J & Sons Builders, Padre Isles Country Club, the Jackfish Neighbors, and Kent Ullberg. Donations to the Beautify Corpus Christi Association Save the Seat Turtle project are welcome.

Note: an image of "The Journey's End" is available upon request.

About Kent Ullberg
A native of Sweden, Kent Ullberg is recognized as one of the world’s foremost wildlife sculptors. While he has done hundreds of works on a small scale, he is perhaps best known for the monumental works he has executed for museums and municipalities from Omaha, Nebraska to Cape Town, South Africa. His Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Omaha, Nebraska installations are the largest wildlife bronze compositions ever done, spanning several city blocks. Regardless of scale, he imbues all of his subjects with unparalleled vitality.

Ullberg is a member of a number of important art organizations that have honored him with prestigious awards. These include, in New York City, Allied Artists of America, National Academy of Design, National Arts Club, National Sculpture Society and the Society of Animal Artists. The National Academy of Design elected Ullberg a full “Academician,” one of the highest recognitions a visual artist can receive. His memberships and awards outside New York include the American Society of Marine Artists, Ambler, Pennsylvania; and the National Academy of Western Art, Oklahoma City, which awarded him the Prix de West Award in 1998, the foremost award in western art. He is a major supporter of many wildlife conservation efforts.

Ullberg’s work can be found in major museums and corporate headquarters around the globe, including the National Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, Sweden; the National Gallery in Botswana, Africa; National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.; Exhibition Hall, Beijing, China; the Guildhall in London, and many more. His pieces can also be found in the private collections of world leaders and celebrities, including H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Jack Nicholson and Robert Wagner. He maintains studios in Loveland, Colorado and Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information, call (970) 667-7809 or (361) 851-1600, or email e-mail protected from spam bots.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/4/prweb228051.htm