Newport Aquarium Celebrates Shark Week by Unveiling 35-Foot Sand Tiger Shark on #SharkWall Mural

NEWPORT, Ky. — In celebration of Shark Week, Newport Aquarium unveiled on Aug. 14 the 35-foot-long sand tiger shark to highlight the newly completed #SharkWall mural.


A 40’x50’ tarp covering the sand tiger shark dropped following a short countdown by Newport Aquarium employees, officially unveiling the completion of the #SharkWall to the tri-state area.

Animal Ambassador Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

The unveil included photo opportunities of Paula the African black-foot penguin; Tilly the loggerhead sea turtle; and Gary the American alligator posing in front of the mural next to their likenesses.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

ArtWorks Cincinnati produced the #SharkWall mural for Newport Aquarium as part of the aquarium’s 15-year anniversary.


A rendering of Mighty Mike, the 800-pound, 14-foot-long American alligator that resides at Newport Aquarium’s Gator Alley exhibit, is located near the center of the #SharkWall.

Completion of the mural, which occurred on Aug. 8, came to fruition thanks to the hard work of ArtWorks and its group of more than 15 dedicated artists, 12 of which were young artist apprentices from various neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.


The lead designer of the mural was Roz Tallmadge, a Cincinnati native and Walnut Hills High School alum. She named the design of the mural “Shining Seas”.

Paint Brushes Hit the Wall at Newport Aquarium for ArtWorks’ Longest Mural in History

Over 300-foot-long #SharkWall to feature aquatic marine life


NEWPORT, Ky. – A 35-foot-long sand tiger shark is coming to Newport Aquarium this summer.

The massive ragged-toothed shark will be the cornerstone of an aquatic-marine-life-themed mural to be displayed on the Newport Aquarium exterior wall facing the Ohio River in celebration of the aquarium’s 15-year anniversary.


The #SharkWall will be produced by ArtWorks as part of the Cincinnati-based nonprofit’s 2014 Public Art campaign.

“Partnering with ArtWorks for this project provides a great opportunity for local youths in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities to showcase their artistic talents while developing their professional and life skills,” said Newport Aquarium VP/Executive Director Eric Rose. “The SharkWall is another example of Newport Aquarium’s continuous efforts to engage the community and we believe it will spark interest in marine aquatic life and conservation.”

With heights up to 35 feet and spanning more than 300 feet in length, the #SharkWall is ArtWorks’ longest mural project in the organization’s history.

The #SharkWall was designed by professional artist and Cincinnati native Roz Tallmadge, a 2006 graduate of Walnut Hills High School and former ArtWorks artist apprentice. Tallmadge will oversee a team of 10 local student artist apprentices that will work on the mural over a 10-week span. The apprentices began preliminary work on the #SharkWall this week. The project is scheduled for completion in August.

Roz Tallmadge is the lead artist for Newport Aquarium's #SharkWall.

Roz Tallmadge is the lead artist for Newport Aquarium’s #SharkWall.

Featuring aquatic marine life from around the world – including a 25-foot-tall African penguin – the #SharkWall will bring the experience of Newport Aquarium outside the building. It will serve as a focal point for the Newport riverfront, seen by thousands each day from downtown Cincinnati, boaters on the Ohio River, visitors to Newport on the Levee, and pedestrians on the Purple People Bridge and Taylor Southgate Bridge.


Upon its expected August completion date, the #SharkWall will provide unique experiences from different vantage points. From downtown Cincinnati, viewers will recognize some of Newport Aquarium’s most popular animals. Newport on the Levee pedestrians will have an entirely different experience – discovering hidden treasures that only close examination will reveal.

Track #SharkWall Progress: Newport Aquarium is encouraging the public to take photos and post them to social media networks using the #SharkWall hashtag throughout the summer to help track the progress of the project.

About ArtWorks: Founded in 1996, ArtWorks is an award-winning non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact through three strategic programming areas: Public Art, including an extensive mural program; an art therapy division, ArtRx; and an entrepreneurial arm, Creative Enterprise.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).


Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler in 2014 and by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444