Commemorative Art Sculpture Honors Thom Stork's Legacy
Created by Cuban Artist Yeins Gomez
The Florida Aquarium
On view since October 10, 2018
The Florida Aquarium unveiled a one-of-a-kind art sculpture on October 10, 2018, to honor former Aquarium Executive Director and CEO Thom Stork. The 7-foot tall stainless steel sculpture features a life-size stork wearing a bowtie, a Thom Stork trademark.
Award-winning artist Yeins (James) Gomez was commissioned to create a sculpture that captured Stork’s personality along with his passion for children. “Thom Stork was an icon in the Tampa Bay community. He was a visionary, an innovator and a friend to many. His leadership paved the way for the success The Florida Aquarium is enjoying today,” said Roger Germann, The Florida Aquarium’s current President, and CEO. “The playful and whimsical sculpture will serve as a permanent reminder of Thom’s tremendous contributions to The Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Bay community as a whole.”
The total statue (base, nest, and stork) is made of marine grade stainless steel with a black stain applied to show the definition of the artist's detail. The stork stands on a nest with three chicks - each one representing one of Thom’s grandchildren. The nest sits on a base that is fashioned to look like a live oak, which is one of the strongest and most common trees found in Florida. In addition, the stork’s wings are outstretched, as if protecting his chicks as Thom was very protective of The Florida Aquarium brand and those who worked for the Aquarium.
Yeins Gomez Sousa is a Cuban sculptor. He was born in Cárdenas, Matanzas in 1987. Gomez graduated of Restoration and Conservation at the Higher Institute of Art in Havana (ISA). He was also a Professor of Sculpture at the Professional Art School Roberto Diago. He has won numerous awards for his sculptures - including first place in an international seminary, Caribbean Arts, Casa de las Américas, Havana in 2014. A member of the International Association of Monumental Sculpture (AIESM). He has exhibited his work in Cuba, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, and the United States. Gomez presently lives in Miami, Florida where he continues his work as a sculptor.