Anthony Holand’s latest sculpture, an 11-foot seahorse, is so impressive it’s stopping traffic.

“It’s been a huge hit,” Mr. Holand said from his studio on State Road in Vineyard Haven. “I’ve had the garage door open when the weather’s great. And it’s been great to entertain people in traffic. Everyone is hooting and hollering and waving and taking pictures and sometimes they stop in.”

“The funny part is this started out as a 32-inch whale weathervane,” he added with a laugh.

Mr. Holand has been working on the seahorse for over a year and a half and hopes to have it completed by the end of summer. It will be his biggest sculpture to date, beating out the Nittany Lion weathervane on top of Penn State’s football stadium by a few inches.

How an 11-foot sculpture begins.

“No project ever gets smaller,” has become Mr. Holand’s new motto as more people have expressed interest in bigger sculptures.

The artist got his start on the Vineyard 25 years ago. He was working at Wheel Happy Bicycle shop when he saw an advertisement that piqued his interest.

“There was an ad for an apprentice metal sculptor, of all things, with Travis Tuck,” he said. “So out of about 20 people, I got the job.”

Mr. Holand studied business administration in college, as well as illustration and figure drawing classes.

“Studying business ended up being the best of both worlds. So I ended up with the business degree, but I still took all the art classes,” he said.

This proved to be the perfect combination for his budding career. He did a two-year apprenticeship with Mr. Tuck which led to a partnership that flourished. Following Mr. Tuck’s death in 2002, Mr. Holand took over the studio.

In the studio. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“I’d say the biggest thing I learned from Travis is the business end of how all of this works,” Mr. Holand said gesturing to the studio around him. “Truly, the guy had a gift. He was such a people person, people still come in with Travis stories. It’s been almost 20 years. Every summer I get three or four more stories of Travis, all kinds of crazy stuff, which is so cool. It’s fantastic, he really left his mark.”

Mr. Holand said he is inspired by the longevity of the pieces he creates and the story behind each one, whether it be a weather vane sitting on top of a roof, or a giant seahorse destined for a house near the water in Aquinnah. When working on the seahorse he emphasized that he built it for the Vineyard environment.

“You have to think about longevity and weather conditions here,” he said. “I like to over-build everything that I make, and then I sleep really well at night.”

“Anything that I make should last for generations so each piece tells its own story,” he added. “Essentially, you really get to know the clients and why specifically they want something and pick their brain and back and forth, which is really the fun part. And then you get to tell the story. And then they have this story to tell and pass down for generations.”