Hernando Sun - Megan Hussey
There stands, at the intersection of Commercial Way and Osowaw Boulevard, just beside the Hernando Beach sign, a true artistic landmark that represents the living gems of the ocean: a trio of radiant, leaping dolphins. Their status reigns as a community tradition, and according to the Florida's Adventure Coast website, "marks the start of the coastal art tour."
Their names are Larry, Curly and Moe.
Crafted exclusively for his home community of Hernando County, the aquatic statue fountain display known as “The Healing” was the final creation of the late artist Ken Edwards.
"The dolphins are an iconic image, beloved by many who frequent US-19, whether on their way to Hernando Beach or just passing by. The beauty of our coastline has inspired many artists over the years; we’re very fortunate to have this piece of sculpture by the renowned Ken Edwards gracing both Hernando County and the entrance to Hernando Beach; offering a hint at the many different art installations in the Beach,” said Tammy J. Heon, Manager, Tourism Development, Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee.
The Florida's Adventure Coast website further reveals that upon Edwards’ sudden death in 2000, son Mark Edwards, daughter Jessie Walters, Richard Maass, Bill Briggs, Ron Lemoine and Kevin Jenkins crafted the metal birds and mangroves "to embellish the piece and pay homage to their mentor." Furthermore, “The Healing” was just one of Edwards' "legacy of famous sculptures around the county and country,” including an eagle sculpture at the Glen Lakes Community entrance and a sphere in front of Pinebrook Hospital.
"My father moved to Hernando because of its natural beauty, that hadn't been overdeveloped," said son Mark Edwards. "It's touching that the people want to preserve the dolphin sculpture. To keep it here." Mark Edwards said that his father, a lifelong artist, often looked to animals such as dolphins for inspiration. And Mark and his sister Jessie looked to their father for inspiration when launching their own art careers. After working alongside him for so many years, they were asked to put the final touches on his final work. "All of the credit goes to Dad, he would be so happy,” said Mark Edwards.
Diane Greenwell, President of HBPOA, offers additional insight about this signature Hernando artwork. "During the dolphin sculpture's completion it was referred to as Larry, Moe and Curly, humorously representing a few of the friends who had mentored and worked with Ken Edwards," said Greenwell. Yet the sculpture's formal name, Greenwell explains, holds a more serious significance. "The dolphin sculpture was named ‘The Healing’ allowing those who finished it to grieve for their beloved friend Ken Edwards. The sculpture was dedicated to Hernando Beach upon its completion and has been the welcoming icon to Hernando Beach over the past 20 years,” wrote Greenwell.
And the sculpture's ultimate significance lies in its divine representation of its home region. "The sculpture is made of brass and was never intended to be a fountain," Greenwell explained. "While many people over the years thought it should be sanded, painted, or spout water, it was created as a work of art that was truly intended to be a sculpture representative of Hernando Beach. Hernando Beach Property Owners Association along with the county has maintained the maintenance on the sculpture over the years."
In 2020, the Hernando Beach Property Owners Association, with the help of Gunter Woog, Bill and Patty Roberts, and Kathy Watkins, oversaw the updated landscaping of “The Healing” statue. It was then that Greenwell learned of the history of this artwork through Richard Maass, who helped complete the sculpture, and then aided in bringing the history back to Hernando Beach.
"Ken Edwards' ‘The Healing’ dolphin sculpture has now been added to Florida's Adventure Coast Art Trail, so that others visiting our beautiful community can see and appreciate this beautiful work of art specifically designed for Hernando Beach,” wrote Greenwell.
A history lesson on the Dolphin Fountain from Richard Maass, who was a friend of the late Ken Edwards. It turns out Ken Edwards was a great artist who Richard worked with to design the Dolphin Fountain especially for Hernando Beach. They were actually named Larry, Curly, and Moe. The following is the story Richard Maass conveyed. This piece of history was worth sharing and I hope we can find a way to preserve this in the history of Hernando Beach.
In Richard's words: Just to let you know their names are Moe, Larry, and Curley. I put many hours in on this sculpture with the Artist Ken Edwards, who was my mentor for years. Ken died suddenly right after delivering them at his studio in Weeki Wachee. His son Mark and I finished the birds and mangroves, and many other area metal sculptors came to help with the installation. Larry Whidden, Bill Briggs, Ron Lemoine, Kevin Jenkins, and myself were all influenced by Ken and we all loved and respected him. We called the piece among ourselves as "The Healing". There is a plaque on the piece that has a phone number of Ken Edward's son Mark to contact for maintenance. Ken Also did the Eagle in front of Glen Lakes, and the sphere in front of Pinebrook Hospital. among many of his works on display in public places throughout America. He was also the artist behind The Farm Aide sculpture tribute to the American Farmer....This is truly a treasure to the community. When we finished it, they refused to pay because they claimed the contract was with Ken Edwards. We finished the piece out of love for our dear friend. Ken was a great man, and an award winning artist. He received his Masters in Fine Art from the University of Florida and had quite a resume. His studio is on 20 acres north of weeki wachee and has pretty much been left alone as it was when he passed away. Maybe in death he could get the recognition he has earned in the art world....His son Mark and daughter Jessie still live in Pasco County and have many of his wonderful works and paintings....Not many knew the story. Ken wanted the community to have this. He was so proud to see art in a place that he moved to after being an artist in residence for the City of Tarpon Springs. He said this was a cultural wasteland when he got here, and now it is chock full of treasures....Like I said, he delivered the dolphins, came back to the studio and called his daughter to tell her he loved her, and grabbed his chest. Just like that, he was gone. I met the ambulance at Oak hill and the medics were doing CPR, but I knew he was gone. The doc looked at me asked what he should do. I let him know that this guy was one bad ass member of the 101st Airborne Army Rangers and if he wanted to go, it was up to him. He chose to go with his dignity intact..Just to let you know, no one I know had anything to do with that tile on the sign. It has clashed with the sculpture since day one. If that fell down, I know of some artists that would love to do something cool...that would accent the dolphins. We wanted to do a sunset mural with copper letters "Hernando Beach - Nature Coast" , but they opted for ceramic tile. Oh well.. WHAT DO YOU THINK HERNANDO BEACH AND HERNANDO COUNTY? Isn't this an interesting piece of history that most of us have never heard? Thank you Richard Maass for sharing this with our community and our county.
Fran Baird, an icon in Hernando Beach, commissioned Steve Krou and Diane Liptik to paint her lanai wall depicting herself as a redheaded mermaid in her younger days. This mural can be seen on Porpoise Bay Canal.
Unveiling of the Destination Mermaid Tale Trail in 2023 75th anniversary of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids where countless famous people have come to see these beautiful creatures. To commemorate the event 28 mermaid statues were created and commissioned to be painted for various businesses throughout Hernando County Florida. This video captures 12 minutes of the incredible talent of many of our local artists with no two mermaids being alike. Enjoy the video and be sure to watch for the map of locations these beautiful mermaids will be located so that you can follow the Tale Trail for many photo opportunities and learn more about our businesses in Hernando County.
SUNSET - When Hernando Beach finally got a real fire department with Advanced Life Support, our community wanted to welcome the Hernando County Fire Fighters to Station 6. Steve Krou, Diane Liptak, and Dan Garrett hoped to make them feel welcome in our community. Together, along with donations and contributions from our community, they begin to paint the fire house doors to give color and hope to Hernando Beach. This mural is located at Fire Station #6 and will be on display after remodeling is completed.
WATER TOWER FIRE - Created by Steve Krou, Diane Liptak and Dan Garrett, this mural represented the Water Tower Fire at Weeki Wachee Preserve. In April 2017 Lightning struck causing an underground fire that destroyed thousands of acres of the preserve.
EAGLE - Located at Hernando County Fire Station 6, 3451 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach, FL 34607
This was created to represent the many eagles throughout Hernando Beach.
Created by Steve Krou, Diane Liptak, &amp; Dan Garrett. The firehouse doors were pained in 2017 to welcome our new ALS Hernando County Fire Rescue to our community.
MERMAID - Located at Hernando County Fire Station 6, 3451 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach, FL 34607
The Hernando Beach Tombstone
The Tarpon Tombstone was dedicated to Hernando Beach Business Association by the Brewer Family in 1994. It can be found at Osowaw Blvd. and Shoal Line Blvd. at the Triangle Park.
Artist Unknown This mural is located at 3193 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach, FL at Mammo Realty. Be sure to look at both sides of the building
Brian's Place is one of the best restaurants in Hernando Beach with Chef Brian. Brian wanted to remember his dad and had this mural painted by Steve Krou and Diane Liptak on the side door. Located at 3430 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach, FL
Steve Benevides Hernando Beach • 5 Jun Mural painting I just finished. I just finished this painting in hernando beach. There was a empty cove designed into the side of the house with a lamp. I decided to turn it into anclote key lighthouse at sunset. I added some mangroves and a egret flying by.
Sunsets in Hernando Beach.
Charm & Character of Hernando Beach, Florida