Penn Hills artist builds pirate shipwreck sculpture for underwater museum in Florida
A Penn Hills artist was able to make a unique contribution to the sea by commissioning his first large sculpture for an underwater museum in Florida.
Sean Coffey, owner of the Coffey Shop, built a 10-foot-long, 9-foot-wide replica of a pirate shipwreck for the Underwater Museum of Art, the first and only permanent underwater sculpture museum in the United States. United.
The piece was produced in partnership with a program with the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association.
“I didn’t expect to be accepted,” Coffey said. “I was a little scared at first, thinking, how am I going to afford this?”
Coffey said the sculpture took 200 to 300 hours to build in Braddock. After completing the piece, he drove 24 hours to deliver the project to his new home, in the Gulf of Mexico off Walton County, Florida. He said it was the largest sculpture he made on his own.
“I think it went well,” he said. “I was happy about it.”
The 35-year-old has been creating art professionally for 15 years. He learned to paint at 5 years old.
Coffee grew up in Chambersburg, Franklin County, building log cabins and vintage cars, and moved west in 2005 to study at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He ran a studio in his Homewood apartment or bounced around friends for projects before opening his own studio near his Penn Hills home in 2013.
He said he likes to keep busy as much as possible and works eight to 12 hour days at least six or seven days a week.
Coffey’s work can be seen locally and out of state, including Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Ohio. He estimates that he works on four to five murals a month, noting that summer is the busiest season. In one year, he says he completes 100 projects for clients.
To offset all the expenses associated with his work, Coffey recycles the majority of the materials he uses to create furniture, paintings, murals and sculptures. He describes his job as providing creative solutions to help his clients with anything.
“I really enjoy creating things for people that they can’t find anywhere else,” he said.
Coffey works extensively with Shadyside artist John Muldoon. The couple have completed projects for Sly Fox Brewery & Pub at The Highline, Doce Taqueria and Steel City Arts Foundation.
“He brings a lot of things to the table that I don’t,” Muldoon said. “He has an engineering background. It’s amazing. I am self-taught and traditionally trained. It goes perfectly together. »
Muldoon said the couple are still hungry for more work opportunities.
Coffey said he was unable to see the sculpture placed in the water but planned to visit the sculpture in March.
Tanisha Thomas is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tanisha by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .