7ft Version of Iconic 34ft Virginia Beach King Neptune Statue Installed at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond

7ft Version of Iconic 34ft Virginia Beach King Neptune Statue Installed at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond
Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette is Gift from Aubrey & Peggy Lane

December 10th, 2018 - Richmond, VA

Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette, a seven-foot identical scale model version of the iconic 34-foot bronze Neptune Virginia Beach statue which dominates the Virginia Beach boardwalk at 31st Street, was installed and will be dedicated on December 11th in the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. The scale model was cast in bronze in 2004 and is a gift from Aubrey and Peggy Lane, formerly of Virginia Beach, to the VMFA. “We are lucky to have VMFA, a world-class institution, right here in Richmond,” said Aubrey Layne, the Secretary of Finance for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “Peggy and I couldn’t imagine a better home for Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette than the Robins Sculpture Garden and are thrilled that this gift will continue to strengthen ties across the Commonwealth, from the capital city to Hampton Roads and beyond.”

Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette was created by Richmond-based sculptor Paul DiPasquale. The full-size version, Neptune Virginia Beach, was installed on the Virginia Beach boardwalk in 2005. The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, which wholly planned, commissioned and paid for every aspect of the statue’s creation and placement, received fifty entries from their request-for design-proposal, but only one was from a Virginia artist—Paul DiPasquale, who ultimately received the commission. “Before any sculptor creates a piece as massive as Neptune Virginia Beach, he must first create a scale model, as was the case with Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette,” said artist Paul DiPasquale. “The commitment to my vision that creating a maquette requires is no different than creating a much larger sculpture and often calls for more research and care. As a Richmond-based artist, it is an honor to have this piece represented in VMFA’s collection in a way that acknowledges the spirit and soul of the sculpture.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette will be held on Dec. 11, 2018, at 6:15 PM at the Virginia Fine Arts Museum. “We’re delighted to have the sculpture of such a cherished Virginia statue go on public display in the Robins Sculpture Garden,” said VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. “By exhibiting the scale model for the finished work, we allow our visitors to understand DiPasquale’s artistic process and highlight the remarkable talent of artists who live and make their art in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

“We received entries from all over the country for the commissioning of the Neptune Virginia Beach statue. We were very careful in the selection process, as we wanted to be certain we had the perfect representation of Neptune for the Neptune Festival’s valuable gift to the people of Virginia Beach,” said Nancy Creech, President and CEO of the Neptune Festival. “The decision to commission the statue with Paul DiPasquale was based solely on artistic merit. We were delighted he just happened to also be a Virginia-based artist. We’ve enjoyed seeing similar delight mirrored in the faces of the millions of visitors to the oceanfront who have included King Neptune in their family vacation photos since 2005. Neptune has happily become the iconic symbol of Virginia Beach and we could not be more pleased.”

More about the Neptune Virginia Beach can be found at: https://www.neptunefestival.com/about/neptune-statue

About the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival

The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival is a private, non-profit 501-C3 organization, producing over 40 events per year, which generate tens of millions of dollars in the local economy and contribute to the charitable, educational, and recreational development of Hampton Roads. The economic impact to the area of its flagship event alone, The Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend, was $23.8M in 2018. The annual weekend event is ranked among the Top 100 Events in North America and within the Top 20 Events in the Southeastern US by recognized tourism industry organizations. 2019’s Boardwalk Weekend is September 27th through 29th. Neptune’s Sand Sculpting Championship is considered one of the best competitions of its kind in the world.

About the Neptune Statue in Virginia Beach

Proudly welcoming local residents and visitors alike, the 34-foot, cast bronze Neptune Virginia Beach statue stands at the gateway to Neptune Park and the threshold of the sea. Constructed entirely through the generosity of private contributions gathered by the Neptune Festival, this statue is dedicated to the city of Virginia Beach and its citizens. Surrounded by the creatures of his realm, mighty trident in hand, Neptune’s gaze rests affectionately on the shore. His heroic visage honors the maritime legacy of Virginia Beach while also standing as a vivid reminder of the community’s duty to respect and protect our natural blessings. The statue was dedicated to the City of Virginia Beach on September 30, 2005 during the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend; it now graces the boardwalk at 31st street, overlooking Neptune’s Park.

About Paul DiPasquale

Paul DiPasquale is a Richmond-based artist with extensive experience with public sculpture, including the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue. DiPasquale investigates and produces public sculpture about history and the people who made it. A graduate of the University of Virginia with degrees in sociology and art, he trained at the Boston Architectural Center and received his master’s degree in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1977. He has twice been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome and recently a resident artist at Cité Internationale des Arts (the International City of the Arts) in Paris. Additionally, he has been an instructor, resident, and a visiting artist at Northern Virginia Community College, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the College of William and Mary, as well as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette was an opportunity for the sculptor to adapt Italian Renaissance sculpture for the 21st century. Trained in abstract constructivist and figurative sculpture, DiPasquale intended Neptune to affect the viewer on an emotional and a formal level. In addition to the Arthur Ashe monument and Neptune Virginia Beach, his public bronze and granite sculptures in Virginia include Governor and Mrs. Mills Godwin, Oliver Hill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Law Enforcement Memorial in Virginia Beach. Reviews of his private and public work have appeared in American Artist, Sculpture Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, Time, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among others. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in the Arts.


For more information, call the Festival office at 757.498.0215 (1.866.NEP.FEST) or visit NeptuneFestival.com.

Photo Credit: Jessica Shea Photography