Dance Of The Dolphin Plaza Dedicated In OC

Dance Of The Dolphin Plaza Dedicated In OC
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OCEAN CITY – Two years after unveiling the Dance of the Dolphins sculpture at the foot of the Route 90 bridge, officials from the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and its Public Arts Committee gathered once more to dedicate the completed project and surrounding plaza.

With community stakeholders and city officials in attendance, last week’s dedication ceremony honored the collaboration and work of those who created, spearheaded and supported the installation of the sculpture.

This will be the third sculpture to grace an entrance of the resort town, according to OCDC President Chris Trimper.

“This project completes our initial goal of providing a sculpture piece at each of the three main gateways to Ocean City,” he said. “The white marlin sculpture, completed in 2002, is down at the base of the Route 50 bridge, Spillin’ the Wind eagle sculpture, in 2006, at the north entrance by Delaware, and now the Dance of the Dolphin sculpture here at the Route 90 entrance.”

Plans to place a sculpture at the corner of the Route 90 Bridge and Coastal Highway began in 2014 with a kickoff fundraiser, according to Lauren Taylor of the OCDC Public Arts Committee.

Since that time, private donations and years of work went into funding and creating the Dance of the Dolphins Plaza.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole city to get public artwork installed,” Taylor said. “Almost every level of this city has been involved.”

OCDC, a nonprofit committed to addressing community development in the resort’s downtown area, has ventured beyond its scope to introduce the Dance of the Dolphins Plaza.

This public works initiative enlisted the support of the Mayor and Council and the Recreation and Parks and Public Works departments to install a statue on the piece of public property located in front of the Tennis Center.


The three dolphins have been formally named Haven Hunter, Clearwater and Summer by sponsor families.

The new plaza, designed by the Becker Morgan Group, featured new pavers, landscaping, lighting and a bronze plaque, which listed platinum-level donors.

These donors, the Harrison, Messick and Brenner families, were each given the opportunity to name one of the three bronze dolphins that sit atop the pedestal for their $10,000 contribution to the sculpture. The dolphins are now formally named Haven Hunter, Clearwater and Summer.

The dedication ceremony for Dance of the Dolphins Plaza also marked the celebration of National Dolphin Day.

Sandi Smith of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program told attendees that the sculpture honors the beauty of one of Ocean City’s notable mammals.

“I think it’s a fabulous thing that we have a sculpture celebrating one of the most famous species in the area,” she said.

David Turner, sculptor for the statue that now stands at Dance of the Dolphins Plaza, was given a chance to show the audience how each bronze dolphin was created using a lost-wax process.

“It’s quite involved,” Turner said. “It’s not just creating the clay model and having the vision for this sculpture. There’s quite a few steps involved. These bronze dolphins were cast in bronze, but they were poured at 2,000 degrees at our foundry down on the Eastern Shore.”

Rina Thaler, executive director for the Art League of Ocean City, explained that the Dance of the Dolphins Plaza and sculpture will benefit the community.

“Public art is so important because, like all art, it enhances people’s quality of life,” she said. “It does it in subtle ways by making the places we live, work and play more welcoming and beautiful. It allows us to interact with the environment and take pride in where we live.”

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan added, “What you need is vision, and you also need some leaders. When it comes to establishing art, having Rina Thaler and Lauren (Taylor) and Vicki (Barrett) and others that have contributed to this project, they are really setting an example for all of us.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.