By John Bell

Famed Keys Artist To Build Sculpture From Recycled Materials as Centerpiece for Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival Scheduled for 2016

Summer Event Presented by Nova Southeastern University and Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts to Fund Marine Science Student Scholarships

%22Slaying the Dragon%22 in progress with Pasta Pantaleo

Slaying the Dragon in progress with Pasta Pantaleo

ISLAMORADA, FL—JANUARY 25, 2016— Celebrated Florida Keys marine artist Pasta Pantaleo has landed a major catch with his commission to design a steel framed sculpture of a mako shark, that will literally light up the skies in Islamorada during the Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival scheduled for June 16-19, 2016.

“Doing things on a large scale and making a bold statement has been my whole life,” said the affable Pasta, whose eclectic works range from custom air-brushing vehicles during the lavish Miami Vice lifestyle era to branding professional fishing tournaments with his and award winning depictions of offshore and inshore gamefish and his popular portraits of sea life, including turtles and reefs, mangroves and scapes, as well as pop art and abstracts.

Pasta’s first local sculpture, a replica of a 247-pound record tarpon, named “Slaying the Dragon”, can be found Bayside at the historic Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost.  For his Blazing Mako sculpture, Pasta will work from photos of the mako shark sculpture created for Nova Southeastern University’s Fort Lauderdale campus. The mako shark is the mascot for NSU.

“We are looking to use steel and assorted reclaimed parts to fashion together the mako as a cage with exposed beams,” he said.  “This will allow the tournament and festival promoters to fill the cage with non-toxic flammable materials to hold bonfires throughout the event.”

During construction of the sculpture, which will be a three-plus month process starting in February, Pasta has put out a call to fellow artists and local patrons and visitors to watch the work-in-progress, which will be located in the courtyard of his gallery and shop, located a mile marker 81.5.

As a founding member of the Art District of Islamorada, Pasta said the village hosts an art walk every third Thursday of the month, which will be another opportunity to see the Blazing Mako as it is being created.

“I want the community to feel part of this effort, especially my fellow Florida Keys artists to take part in the festival in June,” he said.

Plans call for a 100-tent “Conservation Village” at the Islander Resort of which 50 spaces have been set-aside for artists. Entry fees for artists are $175.00.  Commercial/retail booths are priced at $250 and conservation/NGO booths are $50. For more information on the artist entries and Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival please visit

Pasta Pantaleo with Slaying The Dragon

Pasta Pantaleo with Slaying The Dragon

Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, which is managing the Father’s Day Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival weekend event in June, has created a series of bonfire tournament events in the Bahamas over the past several years. The bonfire sculptures themselves have a conservation theme given that various local artists create them out of recycled metal.  Each sculpture is designed with a specific fish species unique to each destination.

Community engagement is at the heart of the weekend’s activities. The event will also aid in raising funds for marine sciences scholarships at the NSU’ Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, which is home to the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center.  A goal of $100,000 in scholarships has been targeted. The scholarships will be donated through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).

In addition to the innovative art exhibits, conservation displays and local retail vendors at the Conservation Village the event will also include a premier, not-for-profit fishing tournament, featuring cyber on-the-water release documentation for research using the IGOfish App; and watersport demonstrations and competitions.

Other planned activities involve live music, a trivia event and beach watersport competitions, a Rum Village and Kids Pier Fishing Tournament, fishing seminars and all highlighted by nightly bonfire burnings of the Blazing Mako.


About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution with more than 24,000 students, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the  largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit for more information.

Pasta Pantaleo Working on Marlin Sculpture

Pasta Pantaleo Working on Marlin Sculpture

About NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography: The college provides high-quality undergraduate and graduate (master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates) education programs in a broad range of disciplines, including marine sciences, mathematics, biophysics, and chemistry. Researchers carry out innovative basic and applied marine research programs in coral reef biology, ecology, and geology; fish biology, ecology, and conservation; shark and billfish ecology; fisheries science; deep-sea organismal biology and ecology; invertebrate and vertebrate genomics, genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution; microbiology; biodiversity; observation and modeling of large-scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, and ocean atmosphere coupling; benthic habitat mapping; biodiversity; histology; and calcification. The college’s newest building is the state-of-the-art Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center, an 86,000-square-foot structure filled with laboratories; offices; seminar rooms; an auditorium; and indoor and outdoor running sea water facilities. Please visit for more information.

About Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts: Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The company’s Signature Collection properties operate under the Guy Harvey Outpost brand name, with resorts currently in Florida’s popular destinations of St. Pete Beach and Islamorada. The newest Guy Harvey Outpost Resort will open on St. Augustine Beach in spring, 2016. Members of the company’s Expedition Portfolio are independently operated and managed boutique sized hotels and lodges in remote destinations that offer superior service and amenities. Member hotels enjoy access to Outpost marketing and its reservation system and on-line booking engine. Expedition Properties include three in the Bahamas: Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour at West End and the Green Turtle Club and Blackfly Bonefish Lodge, both in the Abaco Islands, Hotel Playa Media Luna in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman Island and Ft. George Hotel in Dominica.  Through the company’s GHOFish program, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts promotes scientific angling expeditions, tournaments and charters. Expedition Outfitters an invitation-only collection of top-of-class dive shops and guided or charter boat fishing outfitters. Please visit for more information.

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