Jahmari and Amelia took a field trip today to help make a mermaid. With paintbrushes and rollers — and a little help from Amelia’s mother and staff from St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children — they dabbed blue paint on the tail of one of Norfolk’s newest mermaid statues, which is going to be displayed at the Home.
“The kids are going to put their magic into it,” said artist Georgia Mason, who is creating the mermaid. She invited St. Mary’s children to come out to her home studio so they could see the mermaid in progress and lend a hand.
What does a mermaid have to do with St. Mary’s Home?
Norfolk is dotted with mermaid statues shaped like the city’s mermaid symbol, which is 10 years old. The city is now celebrating the Year of the Mermaid, which kicked off with a party at St. Mary’s earlier this month, including the reading of a mayoral proclamation honoring the Home. The event also celebrated the release of a new, special anniversary edition of Lisa Suhay‘s children’s book about Norfolk’s mermaids, “There Goes a Mermaid!” Suhay is donating part of the proceeds to the Home and to The Virginian-Pilot’s Joy Fund.
But the children of St. Mary’s didn’t have a mermaid to call their own. Carl Albero, a member of St. Mary’s Board, bid $5,000 at a fundraiser auction earlier this year to get them a mermaid, and one of his granddaughters also helped paint the mermaid today. Mason is using just part of the mermaid money to pay for materials; the rest will go to support the nonprofit Home because Mason is donating her time and talent to the project.
Stay tuned for updates on the mermaid.
WAVY-TV 10 ran a story about the mermaid field trip on its 5:30 p.m. newscast today. If you didn’t happen to catch it, below you can watch our own video of Amelia, Jahmari and helpers working on the mermaid: