Marine artists join forces for good

Local artist and marine
conservationist Guy Harvey and American artist Wyland collaborated in Cayman
this week to create a large painting before a live audience.

This is the ninth time the two men
have worked on an art project. Mr. Harvey said he had worked on five of the 100
marine wildlife murals Wyland has painted around the world since 1971.

Their latest collaboration, called
Cayman Treasures, was created on the street outside the Guy Harvey Gallery and
Shoppe in George Town on Monday and Tuesday. It features dolphins and sharks,
as well as other marine life more commonly seen in Cayman, swimming around a
shipwreck.

“We’ve spent two days working on
this,” Mr. Harvey said at his gallery on Tuesday night when a small street
party was held outside.

Proceeds from the sale of the
painting will go toward the Wyland Foundation and the Guy Harvey Ocean
Foundation for education and outreach programmes for marine conservation.

Members of the public and
schoolchildren visited the two artists on Monday and Tuesday to watch them at
work, and some of the kids got a chance to paint their own ocean wildlife
pictures.

“We were able to give the children
information about marine conservation and the value of it and also tell them a
bit about painting techniques,” Mr. Harvey said.

The duo went diving on Tuesday
morning at the Sandbar and Hammerhead Hole, where they saw rays and hawksbill
turtles while underwater. “As artists, it’s very inspiring to come straight
from the water and be able to put what we’ve seen and encountered down on
canvas,” said Mr. Harvey.

Wyland, whose full name is Robert
Wyland but who usually just goes by his surname, said he and Mr. Harvey shared
the same mission. “We use our art to inspire people to get involved with ocean
conservation and to bring awareness.”

He said passing on the message of
marine conservation to children was vital for the survival of the oceans.

“We have a small window of time. We
need to share what we know with kids. We have maybe a 10-year window to create
a sea change,” he said.

The pair also painted a picture of
Boatswain’s Beach’s tame turtle, Moriah, to raise money for the turtle farm.

It’s been a busy few days for
Wyland, who was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame at a
ceremony at Pedro St. James Castle on Saturday. A short film of his efforts to
create a painting of the globe on the roof of a Long Beach, California, hotel
was also shown at the Cayman Islands Underwater Film Festival on Friday night.

Cayman Treasures is a 10x5ft
canvas. A limited number of reproduction Giclée prints of the piece will also
be available.

LOCALmarineartistsSTORY

Wyland, on left, and Guy Harvey brandish their paintbrushes in front of their latest collaboration, Cayman Treasures.
Norma Connolly

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