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66 feet wide by 38 feet high | Artist finishes Virginia Aquarium turtles mural

Sarah Gallahan, a Virginia native, was commissioned to paint the massive marine-inspired piece.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach just got a new, 2,508-square-foot work of art. 

Sarah Gallahan, a Virginia native, was commissioned to paint the massive marine-inspired piece. 

Mackenzie Di Nardo, a spokeswoman for the aquarium, said Gallahan was selected from more than 20 applicants earlier this year. 

The City of Virginia Beach's Cultural Affairs Department partnered with the aquarium on the art project, and they were looking for someone who could celebrate nature and the area's local eco- and aquatic history.

Gallahan turned in a painting of three sea turtles, which fit the bill perfectly, and said she hoped her work could inspire people to continue loving marine life.

"I strive for realism with my own artistic touch of bold colors and clean lines to guide the viewer through the scene," she said.

Gallahan started putting paint to the wall on Sept. 12, and on Sept. 26, the aquarium tweeted that the mural was complete.

"The mural is finished & we couldn't be more thrilled with the result. Thank you to Sarah Gallahan for all your hard work, as well as the team at @VABeachArts for leading the project. We look forward to seeing these turtles every day," it said.

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