Frank Ledbetter creating sculpture for Destin arts village

Special to The Log
Alabama artist Frank Ledbetter is working on "Welcoming Arms," an entranceway sculpture to the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village.

Frank Ledbetter was selected by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to design and create an entranceway sculpture to the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. This is his largest sculpture to date, and will be one of the few pieces of public art featured in Destin.

"I am anticipating the challenge a sculpture this size presents," said Ledbetter. "It will be exciting seeing such an important project come to fruition."

The commanding 20-foot sculpture will be created out of stainless steel and includes hundreds of puzzle-like pieces that create interest and texture. The sculpture will be positioned at the entrance to the Mattie Kelly Arts Village off Commons Drive.

It is anticipated that the shiny aluminum surface will glisten in the sun, making the sculpture a dazzling beacon for the arts. The sculpture can also be illuminated at night.

Ledbetter's small-scale model of the abstract piece has been interpreted to share the likeness of many things, and Ledbetter appreciates the many viewpoints.

In the meantime, he has agreed on "Welcoming Arms" as the working title of the piece.

“With our architect’s conceptual plan to create an iconic entrance to the Cultural Arts Village, we are delighted to discover Frank Ledbetter, a former sculpture artist from our Festival of the Arts, while supporting an artist from our region,” said MKAF Executive Director Marcia Hull.  

Drawing inspiration from the colorful flora and fauna of his native Alabama coast and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Ledbetter renders metal into works of art with an inspired approach to color and form that has become his signature. A self taught prolific metal artist, Ledbetter enjoys creating functional pieces, as well as those which are purely decorative.

From his studio in Theodore, Ala., Ledbetter hand cuts stainless steel and aluminum metal and using the welding process creates unique works of art.

Although Frank has only been a metal artist since 2003, his talents have earned him awards and entrance into fine art galleries and fine art shows. He has been commissioned to do many public and private art projects all over the country and in the Caribbean. He recently completed several substantial commission pieces including a large Twin Blue Marlin Sculpture, which is the focal point for the Wharf Development in Orange Beach, Ala. and an abstract sculpture he created for the Mobile Public Library.

He is currently working on a large piece titled “Earth Rising” for a private sculpture garden.

For more information, visit or call 850-650-2226.