Artist Jared Betts is putting his talents and his passions to use in Shediac, N.B., as the newest keeper of the town’s giant lobster statue.
A self-proclaimed lobster fan, Betts has been hard at work readying the statue for visitors this summer, with as many as 300,000 people expected to come see the giant crustacean this year.
His fondness for the underwater crustacean is fitting in a town that has declared itself the lobster capital of the world.
“I’ve always loved the lobster growing up, and now that I’m able to do it I just think it’s so incredible because I love sea creatures,” Betts told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday. “I’m a bit of a mermaid myself.”
Unveiled in 1990, the concrete statue weighs nearly 90 tons and measures 11 metres in length.
Betts says, every summer the old paint needs to be ground down, after which the statue has to be re-primed and painted.
The salt from the ocean can be hard on the paint and many areas need to be redone completely.
The process saw Betts work from morning to night, sometimes until as late as 1 or 2 a.m., all with the help of his girlfriend whom he says was crucial in providing emotional support.
“Sometimes, the birds would be chirping, and it’s time to sleep,” he said.
Although his name isn’t on the statue, Betts has thrown a little of himself into the work: some leopard patterns that he uses in his abstract paintings.
Watch the full interview with Jared Betts at the top of the article.