Ernest Vasquez and Sierra Rasberry are two local artists who want to make mythical mermaids a reality.
The couple created the 1000 Mermaids Project this year with a goal of creating an underwater sculpture garden using cement and limestone body molds transformed into beautiful mermaids.
Vasquez and Rasberry are a perfect mermaid-making team. Vasquez studied ceramics and sculpture at Arizona State University and Rasberry has been drawing, sketching and creating artwork since she was a kid.
“I’m more technical and detail oriented and he thinks more abstract and big picture,” Rasberry said of their collaboration.
Two years ago they started Miami Body Cast, working with private clients to create commissioned body sculptures for homes and yachts. When one of their initial clients requested art for his yacht, Vasquez and Rasberry thought that instead of creating a simple nude sculpture, they would create a mermaid —a nod the nautical feel of the vessel. Long story short: the client got divorced, lost his prized yacht and then was obviously uninterested in the masterpiece Vasquez and Rasberry had made.
With an unwanted mermaid sculpture in their studio, the couple started brainstorming. The more research they did on coral bleaching and destruction, the more they knew their next project had to support ocean conservation. And that’s when the 1000 Mermaids Project was born.
Vasquez and Rasberry hope to raise enough money by next spring to complete then sink their first mermaid sculpture garden accompanied by an artificial reef. The goal is to turn it into an underwater public art installation and snorkeling/scuba tourists attraction that helps existing natural reefs recover.
The duo has bodycasted 104.3 the Shark’s Toast and Ashley O live on air. And they will be at Riptide Music Festival where they will be doing a live mermaid body cast demonstration. They already have a wait list for mermaid wannabes.
So far, the duo has hired a group of certified divers to video general observations of marine life and to make sure there are no natural reefs around their anticipated drop site between the W Fort Lauderdale and the Lauderdale by the Sea pier. The footage will be presented to Broward County’s Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division. Then the project has to be presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assure it is safe for sealife.
“We want to leave a legacy as a couple,” Rasberry says. “It’s easy to look past what’s inside the ocean and only see the horizon. We want to change that by creating more awareness and hopefully trigger inspiration for future generations.”
By Christie Galeano-DeMottFor Miami.com
Miami Body Cast, the artist/creative duo couple behind the 1000 Mermaids Project is proud to join The Celebration of the Sea Foundation as part of their presence at Riptide Music Festival Powered by Ford.
You can't miss us when you walk in! We'll be body casting away and taking donations to help us work towards our goal of creating an artificial reef to drop off the coast of Ft Lauderdale Beach! We'll have some very special casts on site thanks to our friends Toast & Ashley O from 104.3 The Shark! Looking forward to seeing you there!
Miami Body Cast will be part of a night that celebrates the intersection between art and fashion amidst the backdrop of one of Fort Lauderdale’s most iconic hotels, the W, on Saturday November 18th, 2017. A captivating evening previewing designer collections of local & international swimwear inspired by art while live body casting takes place at the same time on the Wet Deck of the W. Witness the Art of Swim! http://www.wftlevents.com/
Thank you Bahia Mar and 104.3 The Shark for hosting the 1000 Mermaids Project at the Riptide Music Festival launch party and closing show during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2017!
We had the chance to cast our 6 beautiful models, all wearing Montce Swim, including one guest of the after party, and also raffled off a free body cast session to a lucky attendee. Bahia Mar has done a stellar job renovating their pool deck and it provided as a great platform for us to spread awareness about our project to the audience while they ate, drank, and watched the show!
We are honored to team-up with the Celebration of the Sea, Entercom, and Bahia Mar Hotel, and conduct a live body casting demonstration at the Riptide Music Festival launch party on Saturday, November 4th at the Bahia Mar Pool from 6pm-10pm where our models will be wearing and premiering the new bikini line for a local women's swim ware company while having their legs casted to potentially become a mermaid!
Miami Body Cast and the #1000MermaidsProject is proud to be participating in the Children’s Diagnostic Treatment Center Social next Wednesday, October 11th, at Bahia Mar Marina where we will exhibiting our project and doing a fundraiser to 'transform' the head of the hospital, Dr. Ana Randazzo, into an underwater mermaid. This is a wonderful opportunity for a beautiful cause and we at the 1000 Mermaids Project are truly honored to be apart of it!