Artist uses dead marine life to create red tide warning

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David Skaggs is an artist with a talent that's all his own. 

"Her head is made out of a coconut. All of the hair is part of the palm," he pointed out, showing off one of his sculptures. 

At first glance, you'll see a pelican. Take a closer look and you'll see it's made out of shells, feathers and palm fronds, all found on the beach. 

"I collect pretty much whatever I start seeing. There’s usually a collection of a bunch of things at one time. You’ve got to get it while it’s there," he said. 

David is a proclaimed beach bum.  "I would rather be on the beach than anywhere.”

He spends his time gathering materials from Siesta Key. His mind goes to work piecing them together before he even brings them home. 

"This is my guitar fish and you can actually play the guitar if you know how to tune it up," he said. 

Five years ago, David had a massive heart attack.  He said art is the reason why he survived. 

"I spend so much time and so much effort and so much heart and soul into this and it’s what keeps me alive," he explained. 

Earlier this summer as red tide devastated Siesta Key, he devoted himself to a new mission. 

"It's to try to help and try and make some loving pieces to show people the bad things that red tide does," he said. 

David started gathering and bleaching bones of dead marine life and worked them into his creation: A raptor. 

"This is the 2018 Red Tide Raptor and it’s going to be here forever. We can show a year from now or five years from now; this is how bad red tide was," he continued. 

His art is now on display at the Historic Spanish Point in Osprey. Executive director John McCarthy said David's creations draw people in. 

"First they see the animals and the sea creatures. Then they start to look closer and they are really amazed," said McCarthy. 

David considers his talents a gift that he wants to share with others. 

"I just want to bring something to the world that nobody has ever seen before," he said. 

David's work will be on display at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey until the end of the year. 

LINK: For more information visit David's Facebook page: Dave's World Art