Newest Oklahoma Aquarium Sharks Made Of Bronze

Tuesday, October 6th 2009, 6:05 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- There are three new Bull Sharks at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. The new arrivals are not in the water but near the front entrance. These sharks are bronze sculptures created as a spare-time project by a local artist.

Three bronze bull sharks finally are on display at the entrance to the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Kenny Alexopoulos is the Deputy Director of the Aquarium. He's studied sharks and captured them in the water, and now he's captured them in bronze.

"These are the measurements of the parts of the shark in proportion to a real shark," said Oklahoma Aquarium Deputy Director Kenny Alexopoulos.

Three years ago the Aquarium was looking for a sculpture for the front entrance - an expensive wish - so Kenny said if he could work on it in his spare time,

He created a skeleton out of rebar after an Aquarium employee taught him how to weld. He filled the skeleton with that expanding foam insulation.  After it hardened, he had to shape it.

"Yeah, with a knife and a belt sander," Alexopoulos said.

The museum deputy director then started to add the clay. There was an entire year when he got busy on other project and did no work at all on the sharks.

"Then when I finally jumped back on it the clay was all cracked and dry," he said.

Which meant almost starting over.

Finished at last, he cut the sharks off their base and sent them to a foundry in Colorado this spring. The foundry prepared and poured the bronze castings and Alexopoulos went up to get the sharks finished and back on their base so they could be brought home.

"I wasn't expecting it to look as good as it does," said Oklahoma Aquarium Deputy Director Kenny Alexopoulos.

This project turned out so well, Alexopoulos says he may try another one, sea turtles maybe.