BUZZARDS BAY — A new sculpture of two sea turtles is lighting up Main Street in Buzzards Bay.
The sculpture features a loggerhead and a Kemp’s ridley — two types of endangered sea turtles the National Marine Life Center works year-round to help rehabilitate and release back into the water.
“It’s nice to have a little brightness and light that also shines a light on sea turtles,” said Kathy Zagzebski, president and executive director of the center.
Sculptor and glass artist Michael Magyar, owner of Glass Studio of Cape Cod in East Sandwich, was commissioned to create the giant sculpture titled Shell-ebrate Marine Life.
Magyar is known for the light sculptures — the Giants of Sandwich — that have lined streets in the downtown area every winter for 20 years. This is Magyar’s first sculpture to appear in Bourne.
The National Marine Life Center was given the sculpture by an anonymous donor this holiday season.
“I am so thrilled to be hosting the very first one in the town of Bourne,” Zagzebski said. She said she would love to see them along Main Street, MacArthur Boulevard and throughout the town.
Zagzebski has been working on Cape for about 15 years and visits Sandwich to see the Giants every winter.
“Ever since I saw the sculptures in Sandwich I fell in love with them,” she said.
Now, thanks to the generosity of the anonymous donor and Magyar, the sculpture has helped brighten Main Street during this dark time of year, Zagzebski said.
In Sandwich, the Giants showcase local businesses and draw people to what is happening inside, she said.
When people pass the bright sea turtles on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, Zagzebski hopes they’ll come inside to learn about the increasing number of marine life strandings and realize there is resource on Cape Cod to help them.
When Magyar delivered the sculpture to the National Marine Life Center, he was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital, witnessing firsthand the work done at the center to save both seals and sea turtles.
“It is really impressive work,” Magyar said. “I was quite humbled.”
He said he was amazed to learn it can take six to eight months for a sea turtle to recover and some of those rescued can’t even swim.
“It’s pretty incredible stuff,” he said.
Assembling the sculpture held some challenges, Magyar said. For typical Giants, he said, there is a support or framework, but since the turtles in this sculpture appear to be floating, they needed to be held up in a different way.
It was a good learning curve, he said.
In Sandwich, the project began as a way to brighten the dark streets in town during the winter, but quickly snowballed into something bigger, he said.
Sculptures include a firefighter with a hose in front of the Sandwich Fire Station, a glassblower in front of his glass studio, a Christmas tree topped by a sand dollar, angels, doves and many more.
“It’s a community effort and it’s free,” Magyar said. “People can just drive down the road and see these things.”
Follow Beth Treffeisen on Twitter: @btreffeisenCCT.