Christina Salazar

The second of South Padre Island’s Sea Turtle Art Trail’s turtles has “hatched” at the Multi-modal Center (321 Padre Blvd.). Painted by local muralist and artist Christina Salazar, the turtle is covered in beautiful and vivid swirls of indigo with splashes of bright pink. The entire sculpture is arresting when seen in person, and it glows under newly installed black lights each evening. 

Salazar began chronicling the process of painting the turtle (whose name is still the subject of a social media contest) in October of 2019. She called the design a blue zentangle.

“Zentangle is a new way of drawing patterns that relax and challenge the eye. The colors were inspired by the ocean and the base incorporates barnacles,” said Salazar.

The blue zentangle turtle joins the first turtle of the Sea Turtle Art Trail, the record-breaking and meticulously hand-carved mesquite sea turtle carved by sculptor Andy Hancock. South Padre Island celebrates being one of the world’s foremost spots for the rescue and rehabilitation of sea turtles, including the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

The work is cofunded by the City of South Padre Island, which is rolling out the Sea Turtle Art Trail as an ideal photo backdrop on an island that celebrates sea turtles.

“We see these turtles as giving our visitors and residents alike a beautiful way to share their appreciation for their real-life counterparts,” said Ed Caum, convention and visitors bureau director. “It also allows us to celebrate the tremendous creativity of local artists throughout the island and the Rio Grande Valley.”

Salazar has known she wanted to be an artist since she was a young child, in time attending the Glassell School of Art, part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Prior to this most recent project, she had developed considerable familiarity with capturing sea turtles; Salazar’s one of the three artists that contributed murals that grace the tanks of Sea Turtle, Inc.

For more information about the Sea Turtle Art Trail as well as more activities on South Padre Island, visit


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