Driftwood Art at Ripleys Believe It or Not! | Eye on Orlando

Driftwood Art at Ripleys Believe It or Not!


Palm Coast artist Paul Baliker illustrates man’s relationship with nature through amazing works of art, so it only seemed natural for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to acquire a pair of his unbelievable, signature sculptures.

“Oceans 11th Hour” to go on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando on January 19

A Matter of Time represents the relationship between man and the ecosystem. Created from dozens of pieces of recycled Florida Cedar, the sculpture features more than 40 animals surrounding a representation of man, who holds the fate of the planet in his hands. Baliker calls it “a career piece” that took him six months to create. It measures 13 feet in diameter. It recently placed fourth among hundreds of entries in the ArtPrize 2010 competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Oceans 11th Hour is Baliker’s effort to call attention to the peril that the world’s oceans face. “We need to take measures right now to quit polluting and overfishing,” said Baliker. “We’re in the 11th hour and time is running out.” The sculpture stands eight feet high and ten feet wide and is also made from Florida Cedar.

The driftwood used to create both pieces was found on the islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast between Cedar Key and Homosassa Springs. Much of the wood is left over from when pencil factories cut trees down in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Baliker donated A Matter of Time to Ripley’s so that it can be seen – and its message heard – by millions of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! visitors. “I want people to realize that we affect the environment in such a big way,” Baliker said. “We need to reduce our impact on the environment because we’re ultimately responsible for the fate of many species.”

“When I first met Paul and subsequently saw Ocean’s 11th Hour, I knew I had to have both these amazing pieces” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives. “The realism is superb, the themes are poignant and vital, and art made from driftwood is simply a natural for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! In thirty-three years of collecting, I have never seen anything even vaguely like these masterpieces.”

Oceans 11th Hour will open as a special exhibit at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium on January 19. A Matter of Time will go on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Mexico City at a later date.

About Ripley Entertainment; Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 13 million annually at its 80-plus attractions in 11 countries. In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.