IRB Action 2000 Donates Bronze Manatee Sculpture

n-bch-IRBA2KPublicArt2-081122.jpgIndian Rocks Beach Mayor, Cookie Kennedy & IRB Action 2000 President Diane Flagg with the bronze manatee sculpture.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — City officials and members of the nonprofit community group IRB Action 2000 unveiled IRB’s newest public artwork Aug. 3 at the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve.

The bronze sculpture, which is from the Randolph Rose Collection, depicts a manatee rising from a wave and sits in a shaded area right near the entrance to the 10-acre park at 903 Gulf Blvd.

During the brief ceremony, Mayor Cookie Kennedy thanked the organization for donating $8,500 for the piece, which is the fourth public art installation in town, with a fifth scheduled for this fall, according to the mayor.


“I think we’re incredibly grateful to have the support of IRB A2K behind us,” Kennedy told the small crowd, which included IRB A2K President Diane Flagg, board members and volunteers as well as City Commissioner Phil Hanna. “These sculptures, one is more beautiful than the other, and I’m excited for the dedication of the next one at the city’s main (17th Avenue) park this fall.”

When it was her turn to speak, Flagg returned the praise to the city.

“Having the city as our partner helping us do things that have a lasting effect in the community is impressive,” she said. “We have a lot of volunteers and supporters who help us throughout the year, and the results of our hard work and dedication are going to be remembered for many years. So, thanks to (City Manager) Gregg (Mims) and the city because an organization like ours couldn’t operate and do what we do without their help.”

After the speeches, the group gathered around the sculpture for the ribbon-cutting and a quick photo session, where Kennedy and Flagg were cajoled into kissing the bronze manatee, making it an official member of the IRB community, according to the mayor.

“It looks awesome, and it’s in a great spot,” she said of the piece’s perch atop a bed of mulch under a large shade tree. “I can’t thank IRB A2K enough for all they do for the community, and I want to thank city staff and Gregg and everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. It’s a great job by all involved.”

According to Flagg, she and the rest of the IRB A2K crew are in the middle of planning the latest edition of the annual Oktoberfest, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, from 12-6 p.m. at Kolb Park, and working on the upcoming release of the 2023 Plein Aire Cottage Artists calendar, among other projects.



See More Press