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Vibrant Educational Seating Outlines Galveston’s Seawall

Galveston Island just finalized a project that adds to its eclectic scenery.

The sound of the wind and waves crashing into the sand may be familiar as you approach the Galveston Seawall, but the brightly covered ceramic benches may not be.

The benches were damaged by Hurricane Ike, so the city asked Artist Boat, a nonprofit that combines art and marine life awareness, to restore the cement seats.

Karla Klay, Executive Director of Artist Boat, led this task and gave me a tour of the colorful benches that share information about Galveston.

She knew she wanted them to be just as educational as they are beautiful.

“We really hope that people leave with a greater sense of attachment or stewardship for the ocean,” Klay said. “I don’t know if a bench can do that or not.”

Various artists were selected and used vibrant paint on ceramic squares to explain topics like hurricane patterns, jellyfish, and freshwater habitats.

The diversity lies not only in the content, but by the skill levels of the artists.

“And then we had whole classrooms submitted a concept for a seaweed Sargassum migration, and the winning idea was a 7th grade or 5th grade class group,” Klay said.

There are 70 benches in total down the sea wall starting from Sixth Street and ending at 61st Street.

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