Sparky the sea lion statues on display around the Twin Cities

Artist painting a Sparky the Seal statue.

Over a dozen Sparky the sea lion statues will be featured throughout the Twin Cities beginning on Monday for "Summer of Sparky," a celebration for the return of the sea lion shows at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.   

Twenty sea lion statues hand-painted by Minnesota artists will appear at local businesses and organizations around the Twin Cities. The statues, standing at 6 feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, feature unique colorful paintings showcasing important messages about ocean conservation. 

From underwater habitats to images of puffins, people can expect to see a variety of aquatic scenes as part of the celebration for the return of the Sparky Show. 

The SPIRE Sparky the Sea Lion Show had their first viewing on May 7 after taking a four-year break to renovate the Como Harbor habitat for the zoo’s seals and sea lions. The shows are now held twice a day at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the newly renovated area. 

While at the zoo, visitors can find a Sparky statue on loan from the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco out on display. 

The hand-painted sea lion statues will begin popping up at locations throughout the Twin Cities on June 13.  They will be located the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children’s Museum, CHS Field, Rice Park, Harriet Island, Minnehaha Park, the Minneapolis RBC Gateway, and other local businesses.