Flamingo Preening

IMG 3364

Come back soon to read the article related to this painting in the context of Sarasota County history.

This is a painting by a Community artists, Angela & Grace Murray and Jetta Dengler.


Angela J. Murray

Angela J. Murray

Angela J. Murray is a dreamer and visionary, striving to make the world a better place through acts of service, mentoring and artistic creation. She devoted 35 years of her life to serving children and families in the child welfare system, and is currently semi-retired. Mrs. Murray has formal training in various artistic mediums. Much of her work involves nature, music, people and animals. The passion is transparent in her chosen subject matter. She is drawn toward emotions, strong movements, powerful imagery and balance.
Website - https://angela-murray.pixels.com/#sectionDivAbout
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/AngelaJMurrayArtist/
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Angela J. Murray Artist
Preening Flamingo
Created 4-2022, Updated 4-2024

The ‘Preening Flamingo’ captures a flamingo grooming itself. Flamingos gain their pink colors from the krill and food they eat. Their legs are long, and their necks stretch around like a rubber band. They have amazing flowing feather that they can bury their head into. The inspiration for this sidewalk art comes from our amazing flamingo colony at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, a small jewel attraction that has been in operation since 1939.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is “home to more than 200 native and exotic animals including birds of prey, many different species of parrots and macaws, primates, small mammals, dozens of snakes, lizards, iguanas, alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles – many of them rescued or donated – including Florida’s noted pink flamingos. All nestled within 10 acres of lush tropical landscaping connected by winding jungle trails.” The flamingos are free roaming in the gardens and often greet visitors personally.

There are no current wild flamingos in the Sarasota area; but in South Florida there are wild flamingos due to several past storms displacing them from captive attractions. The Florida Audubon Society conducted a count of the wild flamingos in February 2024. They counted 101 wild flamingos. They are mostly found in Florida Bay, Pine Island and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. While there are limited flamingos in the Florida wilderness, there are several attractions like Sarasota Jungle Gardens that offer sanctuary to flamboyance of flamingo and allow locals and tourists to enjoy their grace and beauty.


Angela J. Murray Artist


Created April 2024

‘Seahorses’ is an underwater scene of two slightly surreal seahorses, hanging on to the sea grass, with Sea Fans along the bottom edge. This sidewalk is inspired by Mote Marine’s expansive sea horse breeding program. Mote is breeding seahorse species, thus reducing the seahorses taken from the ocean. Seahorses are the only species that the male gives birth and carries the ‘fry’. The female places her eggs in the male’s pouch where they are fertilized and 28 days later they are birthed.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium was founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, known at the time as Cape Haze Marine Laboratory. Mote is “an independent, nonprofit marine research institution comprising world-class marine scientists committed to the belief that the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans begins with research and education.” In 1967 it was established in Sarasota. The laboratory library houses over 35 years of resources, reference materials, and research publications. These collections “are maintained for the support of marine and environmental research and education”.

Mote is currently in the process of expanding. “The new Science Education Aquarium (SEA) project, which began construction in November 2020, is set to open in early 202512. This impressive facility will offer a window of discovery into globally significant marine science research conducted by Mote scientists across every ocean in the world. The SEA will be a regional hub, bridging the gap between complex marine research, accessible science and technology education, and environmental awareness for a healthier ocean.”

Florida seahorses can be spotted in the waters around the Florida Keys, Sanibel Island, Biscayne Bay, Fort Myers Beach, and our own Anna Maria Island just north of Sarasota. They mostly chill camouflaged on whatever they are hanging onto and wait for food to pass them by, that they suck into their mouths. Exploring the underwater world in these locations by snorkeling or diving among the corral, sea grass and other organic structures they can hold onto with their tails will likely ensure a wild sighting of these gentle creatures.






Two of Angela's four paintings are:

Inner Strength
Created May 2024

Having worked in child welfare for over 34 years, with the last 16 being in Sarasota County, I have had the pleasure to work with the amazing team at the Child Protection Center (CPC) Sarasota. When advised there was a new phase for sidewalk art and it was for CPC and their clients – this artist was honored and jumped on the opportunity to give back to them. CPC works tirelessly to help kiddoes who have been victims of various trauma. They have served the Sarasota community for over 40 years. Their ‘transformative’ work is what inspired this sidewalk art.

This sidewalk is a pair of surreal minnow / guppies looking into a mirror and seeing who they truly are, or a manifestation of their full potential. Many children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, harm, have extremely low self-esteem and do not realize how valuable and amazing they are. There is a lot of self-doubt and self-blame prior to working with CPC.

This image, is similar to the common image of a kitten seeing a lion in the mirror (except using fish and flowers that honor the beauty Selby Gardens brings to our community). The duo of little fish see the beautiful koi and Phalaenopsis orchids in the mirror. CPC helps our most vulnerable kiddoes see the beauty and power they have within. This artist is blessed and thankful to have been able to create this sidewalk for these phenomenal survivors. They are our future.

Child Welfare Service


Angela J. Murray Artist
Lilies and Orchids
Created May 2024

This sidewalk is just a few hundred yards from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby) founded in 1973. It was created to honor the stunning flowers and insects one can see when exploring the gardens. While this sidewalk is a more surreal version of the Phalaenopsis, butterflies and lilies one will see there, its whimsy and beauty mirror the garden’s.

Selby consists of 45 acres on the bay. It houses a collection of air plants, native flora, lilies, as well as a butterfly garden at the Spanish Point location. The downtown location is 15 acres and includes an expansive epiphytic orchid, and bromeliad collection. The Spanish Point location is 30 acres and is one of the largest preserves of Florida native plants, as well as an archeological record of about 5,000 years of Florida history. Both locations have several architectural historic structures. The Selby location has annual artist exhibits in the mansion, as well as an annual photography exhibit. There are also various classes and lectures offered.

Recently Selby downtown has been expanding and now houses a stellar Michael’s on East Restaurant and Café. These gardens are amazing and not to be missed when visiting Sarasota. Grabbing a fresh brewed tea and sitting by the koi pond, listening to the waterfall is serene and grounding. For some laughter and excitement one can watch the children climb on the tree roots and frolic in the children’s garden areas. Or relax on a bench on one of the boardwalk jut outs and watch the wind blow over the bay.

Selby Gardens Member and frequenter