Salvaged rebar from the Sanibel Causeway a�er Hurricane Ian has been magically transformed at BIG ARTS into a mys�cal
metal sculpture that reflects the ar�st, Wendy Klemperer’s, deep love of animals. It stands as an expression of the
resilience of the Sanibel Island community. Causeway Panther is a stunning 8-foot-long sculpture of remarkable grace and
movement that is a tes�mony to the transforma�onal power of the arts. Causeway Panther was recently placed in the
wooded area in front of BIG ARTS wai�ng for a permanent home.
Inspired by the message of resilience and transforma�on that the sculpture represented, David and Jackie Lurio made it
possible for Causeway Panther to become part of BIG ARTS permanent collec�on.
“When we thought about it, my wife Jackie and I realized that so many more people for years to come would be able to
see this beau�ful expression of the Island’s resilience if we made it possible for the Causeway Panther to have a
permanent home at BIG ARTS. We didn’t want it to cross the causeway and go off the island”, said Dave.
BIG ARTS Gallery Director, Wilson McCray, personally retrieved the rebar from the causeway debris knowing that his ar�st
colleague could reimage the twisted metal to create a powerful sculpture emblema�c of rebirth.
“The scope of this act of generosity is so far reaching. It creates a home for Causeway Panther. It will sustain the metaphor
of resilience, it will keep the memory of our trials, our losses, and our survival alive. It will evoke the experience for all our
community and visitors alike – that it’s true, with vision and skill, we can take the remains of a terrible disaster, and create
such beauty. We can recover. This is a message for genera�ons to come,” commented McCray.
See Causeway Panther at 900 Dunlop Road and visit BIG ARTS two galleries, sculpture garden and gi� shop.
BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island was created by and for the community and will endure forever as a warm and welcoming
cultural center that celebrates the ar�st in all of us. Visit for hours, details and programming informa�on, and
stay tuned for our exci�ng 2024-25 season to be announced this summer!