Client: Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD
Location: Galveston, TX, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $348,300
Brad Oldham Sculpture
Brad Oldham Sculpture
Piper Faust Public Art
Royal Caribbean Group
Forging connections with the local community by celebrating local art and culture, artists Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin designed, fabricated, and installed the “Galveston Beach Trio” to welcome guests as they embark on their vacation from the new Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal in Galveston, Texas. The site-specific sculpture measures 9 feet tall, 18.5 feet wide, and 10 feet deep. Crafted from stainless steel, steel, and lost-wax-cast bronze, the trio features beloved local animals – an exuberant sea turtle on drums, a charismatic pelican on bass, and a spirited crab on the piano. Their vibrant presence sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure, radiating energy and excitement that captivate visitors upon their arrival to the terminal.
Royal Caribbean Group commissioned the placemaking sculpture for its new terminal for travelers to experience the sculpture in the passenger waiting area prior to boarding their ship. The artwork needed to seamlessly complement the modern design, elevate the boarding experience, and create a dynamic and inspiring connection between passengers and the Texas and Gulf Coast region. Another goal for the artwork was to be vibrant, engaging, and highly photographable with the aspiration of becoming an iconic centerpiece within the new terminal.
Piper Faust Public Art was selected to find the Dallas-based husband-and-wife artist team of Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin. The artists started their process from a personal viewpoint.
Oldham shared, “When we began the design concepts for this sculpture, our initial conversations revolved around our favorite family vacations. Some of our most treasured memories are from traveling together. It was an honor to create artwork that cultivates the vacation vibe through an approachable music theme, featuring native animals forming a delightful band.”
Coltrin expressed her personal connection, saying “Galveston holds a special place in my heart, as my grandfather graduated high school in Galveston in 1925 before attending Texas A&M University. In the 1940s, he established his a private architecture practice in Galveston. I believe he would be proud to know that his granddaughter helped create a sculpture celebrating his hometown.”
Oldham and Coltrin developed the backstory, pencil sketches, clay sculptures, 3D renderings, shop drawings to work directly with the client's corporate and real estate development teams to finalize the sculpture design. The fabrication and installation processes were expedited to ensure the sculpture was in place for the inaugural cruise in Nov 2022.
Transporting viewers to a state of vacation bliss, lively music and bold visuals play an integral role in the "Galveston Beach Trio" installation. This sculpture pays homage to Galveston’s rich musical heritage and the profound influence it has had on the city’s history. The island’s original residents – namely, a sea turtle, pelican, and crab – carry forth this celebration of music. Notably, Galveston was the birthplace of the legendary Grammy award-winning bass-baritone singer and songwriter, Barry White. Additionally, local musicians like Joyce Fields played the piano at the Hotel Galvez’s Sunday Brunch with more than 1,000 performances, while guitarist Joe Pena earned himself the moniker “Granddaddy of Galveston Rock and Roll” through his memorable gigs on the island during the 1960s. For the artists and the Royal Caribbean team, it has been exciting to see the "Galveston Beach Trio" show up in family vacation pictures and posts to start vacations on the right note! P.S. The artists stand with the band to show the picture travelers take before boarding.