LONG BEACH, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Four staff members in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s security department designed and built a guitar out of materials from a former exhibit tank to auction off at the institution’s annual fundraising event, Sea Fare. “Combining their passion for music and art with their dedication to the Aquarium, these staff members created an instrument that is both beautiful and functional and reflects the mission and vision of the Aquarium,” said Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO.
“Combining their passion for music and art with their dedication to the Aquarium, these staff members created an instrument that is both beautiful and functional and reflects the mission and vision of the Aquarium”
When security officers and musicians Dimitrios Athanasopolous and James Grupe found out that an exhibit at the Aquarium modeling wave action was going to be removed, they asked facilities staff members if they could have the discarded acrylic that formed the tank. Athanasopolous, an experienced guitar builder, explains that he and Grupe wanted to compare the playability and sound of an instrument made of acrylic compared to that of a standard wooden guitar. They soon came up with the idea of donating the guitar to the Aquarium’s annual Sea Fare event, which raises funds for the nonprofit’s education, conservation, and animal care programs.
Security officer Nathan Kogen offered to create an embroidered strap for the instrument, and fellow officer Ninah Jackson offered to serve as a digital media consultant, helping with the parts of the process that required a computer for creating the design. Taking advantage of the acrylic’s transparency, the guitar features a sea jelly carving by Grupe and glow-in-the-dark sea jellies embroidered on the strap created by Kogen.
The finished guitar was auctioned this past weekend at Sea Fare, which features food and beverage samples from local restaurant chefs and other vendors, as well as music, games, and live and silent auctions. This year’s Sea Fare had nearly 800 attendees and raised a record-breaking $191,000 for the Aquarium. The next Sea Fare event will take place on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at the Aquarium of the Pacific.