Artists behind iconic Bay Area pieces help other artists get started

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Many who have visited downtown St. Petersburg have stopped to gaze at the bronze dolphin family in the fountains at Sundial Plaza. These and many other great works have been born in studios found within the heart of St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District.

This is where Mark Aeling and his wife, Carrie Jadus, create these instantly classic pieces, at their MGA Sculpture and Soft Water Studios.

In hopes of creating more opportunities for other artists, the couple opened Soft Water Studios in 2012.

“We saw a need in the community and my wife was looking for a new studio. We decided to take on a business venture together and take on the responsibility of rent for the whole building,” Aeling said.

Most of his work is on large-scale commissioned projects.

“It’s the kind of work that I need many hands to help me accomplish,” he said.

Bending, manipulating, and assembling materials makes it quite labor-intensive. In fact, it often takes about six other artists to help Aeling complete these works.

Among many of Aeling’s works, his projects can be found at The Florida Aquarium or in front of the new St. Pete Police Department headquarters.

Recently he has been working on a 9/11 monument for the city of St. Petersburg.

“We got this amazing piece of steel from Tower 1 and I designed a monument that’s about looking forward or where we go from here,” Aeling said. “The piece is intended to bring the community together.”

For more about MGA Sculpture and Soft Water Studios visit or