New Shark Sculpture At The Oklahoma Aquarium In Jenks

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 9:59 am
By: News On 6

For years the Oklahoma Aquarium has been fishing for a way to finish off the entrance to the Aquarium. When no one took the bait, the Aquarium's deputy director decided to do it himself.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to Jenks to see what's taking shape behind the scenes.

Kenny Alexopoulos is heading for his latest art project at the Oklahoma Aquarium. “It's three bull sharks, 2 males pursuing a female." When he has a few minutes he slices off a slab of clay, grabs a rolling pin and goes to work. "I kind of doing the Martha Stewart thing."

It was always the plan at the aquarium to have a sculpture on a granite block near the front entrance. The project kept getting pushed aside for other things, besides it was expensive. "It would have been about $50,000 to $55,000 for an artist to come do this and have it cast in bronze." So he decided to do it himself, only one problem. "This is my first sculpture, I learned how to do all this on the Internet.”

Of course, there's a considerable amount of artistic talent involved too. Alexopoulos has painted the murals at the Oklahoma Aquarium. So with help from the Internet, he went to work. Had a co-worker teach him to weld the metal framework. The yellow stuff is that aerosol spray expandable insulation. He did the shaping with a sander. "I was actually sculpting with a belt sander."

For the detail and proportion he used higher level math. “If I know the distance from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, which is what all these co-efficients are based on." Rick Wells: “then everything else is a math problem?" Alexopoulos: "exactly."

Imagine if I'd paid attention in math class I might be a sculptor.

Alexopoulos hopes to have the model done in two or three months.