(ARA) - Those who aspire to recreate the feeling when a Spin Art creation was complete can return to the euphoria of their childhood today through living art. This form of art expression gives adults the chance to create visual masterpieces to express their individual sense of style and flair.
During the past few years, interior designers have discovered the color and vibrancy that living art can add to any room. As a result, they have begun to work aquariums, the more traditional name for living art, into their clients’ homes.
Though designers often custom-order pricey aquariums, tanks are actually available in all price ranges. The fun is in designing and arranging multi-colored coral, which can be changed depending on the season or even a mood!
Coral comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. For example, there is green-colored octopus coral, pink bird’s nest coral and purple stag horn coral. More contemporary artists may be more inclined to work with brain coral, shaped like a half-moon with intricate grooves and indentations, or club-foot coral, which features long, flat pieces spiking out from a narrow base.
When designing a reef, many approach the task like an artist. They incorporate a variety of shapes and colors, making the coral design truly a piece of living art with their own personal signature.
This is the approach Noreen Zamora, Palm Beach, Fla., took in building her living art piece. “I wanted my aquarium to be a focal point of my family room, one that would provide me a soothing diversion to help me forget the stress of the day. So, I’ve opted for colors that remind me of summer -- pinks, oranges, yellows and greens.”
These colors are predominant in Caribbean reefs, seen off the coasts of Barbados, Jamaica and St. Lucia.
More exotic are the reefs found in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific region. Corals seen in the Red Sea often are various shades of blue intertwined with streaks of red, and corals in Indo-Pacific waters are multi-colored, with purples, greens and pinks being some of the more predominant shades.
“A coral’s shape and size depends largely on its location and species,” explains Charles Delbeek, an aquarium biologist for the Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii. “Where there are strong waves, corals tend to grow into robust mounds or highly branched shapes. In more sheltered or deeper areas, the same species may grow in more intricate shapes, such as flattened plates.”
Marine biologists and artisans at Living Color, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., have been fabricating coral for aquariums since 1988. Living Color constructs pieces using urethanes and other proprietary resins, so they are lifelike in form, shape and movement.
Living Color’s Coral Collection features Plug & Play, which is as easy as it sounds. The first step is selecting a base, ranging from the somewhat tall, ledged structure called Dominica to the shorter, wider structures named Barbados and Aruba. The base comes with pre-drilled holes and each piece of coral is fabricated with pre-threaded rods, making it simple to attach.
There are more than 400 different varieties of coral offered in the collection so aspiring artists can build a reef tailored to their liking. What’s appealing about the collection is the fact that pieces can be added or switched out at any time to change the look of the living art.
Prices for fabricated coral pieces range from $15 to $100 and via the Living Color Web site, people can search for coral pieces by color or geographical occurrence.