Marine artist and activist Guy Harvey to receive award

Artist, activist and researcher Guy Harvey will be presented a lifetime achievement award next month in Canada for his years of promoting marine conservation through books, paintings, photography and environmental advocacy.

Mr. Harvey will receive the Simon Combes Conservation Award on 5 November during the opening weekend of the 2011 Artists for Conservation Festival at Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, Canada.

Founded in 1997, the Artists for Conservation Foundation is an international organisation dedicated to celebrating and preserving the natural world by supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art.

The Simon Combes Conservation Award is named for a former painter, author and conservationist who served as director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust. Mr. Combes was killed in 2004 by a charging Cape buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya.

Mr. Harvey, born in West Germany and raised in Jamaica, has done extensive underwater photography work in the Cayman Islands and is a leading proponent of preserving the area’s endemic Nassau grouper population. The renowned painter, author, underwater photographer and angler also owns Guy Harvey’s Restaurant on the waterfront in George Town, Grand Cayman.

“The great significance in receiving this year’s Simon Combes Conservation Award is being included among other artists whose work I have admired over many years,” Mr. Harvey said. “We are living in times when artists can make important statements about the condition and over-exploitation of the natural world around us.”

With permission from the Ernest Hemingway Family, Mr. Harvey debuted a pen and ink drawing collection titled “Santiago’s Finest Hour,” which was inspired by the author’s book, The Old Man and the Sea. He has ventured into painting and photography with an eye on capturing marine and ocean lovers.

Mr. Harvey obtained a doctorate in fisheries management from the University of the West Indies. His conservation efforts have embraced threatened and endangered species of wildlife, including sharks, marlin, bluefin tuna, Nassau grouper and sea turtles.

Mr. Harvey has donated portions of the proceeds from the sale of his artwork and merchandise to causes dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and advocacy for responsible and sustainable commercial and recreational fishing.

“Much of (Mr.) Harvey’s distinguished work is on a grand scale, having created full-wall murals at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman,” said John Bell, media spokesman for the 2011 Artists for Conservation gala. “(He) is the recipient of Panama’s highest recognition, the Vasco Nunez de Balboa Grand Cross and Silver Star, presented to those who make a positive impact in preserving Panama’s ocean resources.”

Mr. Harvey and Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center in Florida collaborated to create the Guy Harvey Research Institute in 1999. The institute is devoted to providing scientific research and information to conserve and manage fish and marine ecosystems around the world.

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