Giant ant art display using recycled Ian debris in downtown Fort Myers

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan

Giant ants marching up the front of a building in downtown Fort Myers on Wednesday.

Before all of the ants started invading the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center, the materials used to make them came from Hurricane Ian debris.

WINK News spoke with Bradford Hermann, a recycling artist, about the display.

“I kind of wait for storms to take those down for me, so I don’t have to climb the trees. But unfortunately, then we have something like Ian that dropped a lot more than I can even handle,” Hermann said.

Hermann is a local artist who uses recycled items from nature in his work. The 150 coconuts used to make the ants came from Sanibel, Fort Myers, and along McGregor Boulevard following Hurricane Ian.

“I created these ants in half coconuts so they’d be super light. And then, they have this piping and I designed a bracket that this pipe just snaps into. And we don’t… I wasn’t allowed to drill into the walls because this is a historic building. So, I’m using the natural holes in the coral to put anchors, and then the anchors hold the piping, and then I snap these in,” Hermann said.

Ants made with recycled material in downtown Fort Myers. CREDIT: WINK News

Hermann is connected to the community and knows too many who lost plenty during the storm. That’s where the ants come into the picture.

He’s worked on them for the last four months, and each one will be sold, with some of the money going back into the community where it will help Hurricane Ian victims.

“It is a proud feeling, well it will be if I can help,” Hermann said.

Hermann’s exhibit at the Sidney and Berne Davis Center will open on Friday and run until Feb. 24.

If you’re interested in buying one of the ants, Hermann said the art center staff will be available to take your information.

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