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Meet 'Speckles'

Girl, 12, wins contest for name for sea turtle sculpture at Venice Beach

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Meet 'Speckles'

VENICE BEACH — The sea turtle working sculpture at Venice Beach, part artwork, part recycling bin, has a new name.

After a contest from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation involving youth at area YMCAs and SKY Academy schools, five monikers were put up for a vote.

The winning name: Speckles.

“The winning name was submitted by 12-year-old Val Kappelmann, a student at Sky Academy Englewood,” according to Kelsey Kern with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Kern said the submission was one of more than 250 put forth from students between the ages of 3-12 from Venice YMCA, SKY Academy Venice, Englewood YMCA, SKY Academy Englewood and YMCA Early Learning Centers.

“In addition to naming the turtle, Val will receive a grant in her name to the environmental nonprofit of her choice, Mote Marine Laboratories,” Kern said in the email.


The foundation unveiled the large aluminum “functional artwork” in January as a place for recyclables to go and a way to remind visitors that recycling is necessary.

Weighing in at about 400 pounds, it was made with durable aluminum because of its exposure to salt air, Asolo Theatre Production Manager Vic Meyrich explained.

The sculpture was created through the teamwork of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Asolo Theatre along with the city of Venice.

There are plans for a few more of the functional artwork at other regional beaches.

Kern said the polling attracted about 550 votes with “Speckles” receiving 41% of those balloting.

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