New 15-foot sculpture at North Natomas Aquatics Complex captures ‘quintessential summer experience’

The North Natomas Aquatics Complex, which recently opened to the public, features a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, a 25-yard recreational pool, zero-depth entry splash pool, multiple waterslides and a community center with capacity for 350 people.

With a complex this large, it’s important to have that perfect spot to meet up with friends and family. Local artist Terrence Martin accomplished that with the new 15-foot flip-flop-inspired sculpture dubbed “Between the Toes.”

“The sculpture highlights the quintessential summer experience,” said Martin, who is a former lifeguard. “It’s fun, playful, and it’s big enough to make a splash.”

Featuring the ideal footwear for a swimming excursion — flip flops — “Between the Toes” can be seen from the pools and community center, so it serves as a landmark where people easily meet up with friends, Martin said.

The sculpture is made of stainless steel, and the shoe bed features recycled glass rocks and LED lighting. Each sandal weighs approximately 2,000 pounds.

The flip flops colors mimic the pool water, and the LED lights compliment the color of the illuminated pool water at night.

“I love the flip-flop art piece at the new aquatic facility,” said Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, who represents the district. “It’s fun and lighthearted. It’s art that brings joy, while also creating a clear sense of place. Everyone can relate to grabbing their flip flops…and everyone is welcome at the pool.”

The sculpture was commissioned by the Office of Arts + Culture and funded through the City’s Arts in Public Places ordinance which puts 2% of eligible construction costs towards funds to be spent on public art.

The North Natomas Aquatics Center is open for recreational swim on Saturdays and Sundays through May 23. The admission fee for youth is $5 and $7 for adults. Youth under 2 can enter for free. The center features swim lessons, play structures, waterslides, picnic tables, cabanas and the restrooms with showers and lockers.

Find more information on the North Natomas Aquatics Center on the City’s website.

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