As a crowd gathered around for the much anticipated unveiling of George Rodrique's Blue Dog sculpture "Colors of My Mind" on Rosemary Beach's Eastern Green last weekend, those gathered received a surprise.
This sculpture was only to be on loan to Rosemary Beach for this exhibit primarily, due to the long-time friendship of Wendy Rodrigue and her late husband's former agent, Lawrence Pugh.
However, at the unveiling, Wendy Rodrigue proudly announced that she and the Rodrigue Family Trust were donating the sculpture to the Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association.
"Wow! We could not be more overwhelmed and appreciative," said Rosemary Beach board member Victoria Lee, who is Pugh's wife and was instrumental in bringing in the sculpture. "The sculpture will have a forever home in Rosemary Beach. What a generous donation!"
Lee said that she, her husband, and town manager David Bailey were the only ones to know in advance about the announcement.
The sculpture is unique in that it changes colors in the sunlight and has been seen only briefly before. It is valued at $350,000.
"We are trying to figure out how to insure it," said Lee.
The sculpture is on exhibit now through Oct. 7 at its current location in Knot Garden at Eastern Green, located on Scenic Highway 30A. After the exhibit closes on Oct. 7, the homeowners' board will determine if the sculpture will stay there or be moved.
The weekend of activities revolving around Rodrigue and the Blue Dog drew out many visitors and homeowners in the town, with the Rodrigue Steinway event featuring David Seering at the piano being sold out and some were turned away.
Lee said plans are to do another exhibit in 2019 and 2021.
"Several homeowners did not think four months is long enough for all to enjoy," said Lee, "so, we are looking at keeping the next one up for nine months to a year."
The Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition Committee raised enough funds through patrons to fully fund this inaugural event.
"That was quite an accomplishment and speaks volumes about our community's interest in the arts," said Lee.