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Man pays $6,000 for one-of-a-kind Wyland Collectible

The lucky auction winner of an historic new Wyland sculpture, created from the hull of the HMCS Yukon, was announced July 14 by California Ships to Reefs (CSTR).

Winner Kyle Stogsdall, is part of a family dive business in Imperial City, CA. “It’s a very cool piece of artwork,” said Stogsdall, “and it’s nice to have it in a facility where everyone is welcome to come and see it.” Stogsdall’s family dive shop, I.B. Divers, will be mounting the 11-foot steel dolphin on the shop’s wall and building a case to enclose and light it.

Stogsdall paid $6,000 for the sculpture, which will be shared by CSTR and the Wyland Foundation, to benefit both non-profit organizations. The work was painted by Wyland in 2010 in honor of the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the Yukon, California’s first privately funded artificial reef.

The 250-pound steel dolphin was one of two cut from the hull of the ship before its sinking in July, 2000. The stunning steel shape was cut by the late Milt Beard and prepped by Scott Brown, both Project Yukon volunteers. The acclaimed artist Wyland painted the dolphin with an original work of his own design last year. It was unveiled at CSTR’s Tenth Anniversary Yukon Celebration, July 14, 2010.

Wyland said, “I am honored to see this one-of-a-kind artwork and piece of history find a permanent home near the Yukon in San Diego. It was wonderful to be able to paint such an iconic piece, especially since it will benefit such terrific organizations—California Ships to Reefs and the Wyland Foundation.

Stogsdall is personally familiar with the benefits of artificial reefing. “I dove on the Yukon three days after it went down, and I have been back there many times” he said.” It’s amazing to see the changes with all the growth and life that has happened in the last eleven years. It’s beautiful.” The mission of CSTR is to create a network of artificial reefs along the California coast which, like the Yukon, will invigorate our ocean life.

Stogsdall’s family has always enjoyed diving and his business has participated in many CSTR events. “We want to support the improvement of the underwater world for future generations of divers and non divers alike,” he said. “We hope the proceeds from this wonderful piece of art help to benefit everyone who enjoys the ocean.”

The impetus for Stogsdall’s bid on the dolphin was to surprise and delight his mother. “My mother is crazy about dolphins and she’s wild about the artist Wyland. I thought this would be a great surprise for her. She was thrilled, and I know she’s the perfect person to show off the dolphin to the public and share it with our visitors.” People who want to view the dolphin can visit the I.B. Divers Shop at 641 9th Street, Imperial Beach, CA. “The dolphin has impressed and touched many people since its unveiling,” noted Joel Geldin, Chairman and CEO of CSTR. The sculpture has been on display at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and exhibited at conventions by CSTR and the Wyland Foundation. “During its journey the dolphin has brought countless people our message of hope for using artificial reefs to enrich our ocean environments,” said Geldin.

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