CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A “living” piece of artwork is coming to the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival on Friday, and it’s sculpted to look like a Florida alligator.
It’s artist Donald Gialanella’s first time at the Clearwater Beach festival. He’s bringing the unfinished “Allie-Gator” with him for guests to enjoy and even participate in.
“The piece is made for bringing awareness to recycling. It’s an audience participation piece, an interactive piece, if you will, where people come and they complete the sculpture by adding their single-use water bottles to the ‘skin’ of this sculpture,” said Gialanella.
He said he has been involved with these kinds of projects for over three years now, mostly with ArtFest in Fort Myers.
“The idea is to give people an interactive participation event that is a fun way to look at recycling,” said Gialanella.
He said he’s worked with single-use plastics and other common household items in his artwork before.
“I definitely have an environmental push to my aesthetic. I mostly do public art projects in like permanent materials in stainless steel… but I do a lot of recycling and repurposing plastic objects,” he said. “It’s interesting to take common objects that people take for granted, I use pots and pans and garbage can lids and you name, I use it. And I do like assemblage sculptures.”
“Allie-Gator” will be unveiled on Friday, the day the 17-day Sugar Sand Festival begins. Bottles will be taken out and recycled each night and visitors the next day will have the opportunity to make the sculpture different than it was the day before.
“It’s going to be exciting to see the piece come to life because as I made it, I never saw it filled with bottles. So it’s going to be a fun thing for me too, to see somebody else complete my sculpture,” said Gialanella.