Well-known artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, Cayman Airways and HCP Media gathered at the Kimpton Seafire Resort to unveil a special issue of Cayman Airways Skies magazine Thursday.
The art adorning the cover of the newly released September/October issue features Mr. Harvey’s signature style, complete with various marine life endemic to the islands, including stingrays and sea turtles.
“It’s a great honor for me to do yet another cover of the Skies magazine,” Mr. Harvey said. “It’s also relevant because I am a massive frequent flyer with Cayman Airways but it also gives me a chance to portray the underwater natural beauty of the Cayman Islands to the traveling [public].”
Five thousand magazines have been printed. The first copies were placed on Cayman Airways’ flights last week.
“It’s special because we are celebrating our 50th anniversary,” said Philip Rankin, chairman of the Cayman Airways Board of Directors.
Mr. Rankin said they were not just celebrating 50 years of operation but also 50 years of a strong safety record.
“What I like about the cover … it’s extremely Caymanian,” added Fabian Whorms, Cayman Airways president and CEO. “It depicts much of what Cayman is noted for – the stingrays and the turtles. I believe the cover will awaken the minds of tourists [to] our destinations and make them more excited to get to Cayman to see what is depicted on the cover in real life.”
On the back cover is Mr. Harvey swimming with “Tough Guy,” a shark that swam from Cayman to the Yucatan, some 300 miles west of Cayman.
His inspiration for the cover art came from Cayman’s beautiful underwater wonder and his desire to share that with everyone.
The artwork, which measures 40 by 30 inches, took one week to complete, he said. Mr. Harvey wants people to appreciate how lucky Cayman’s residents and visitors are to have a relatively unscathed marine ecosystem when compared to other Caribbean islands.
“Each stingray raises around $5,000 a year, lives around 20 years and contributes greatly to the country,” he said.
Both Mr. Whorms and Mr. Rankin were pleased with Mr. Harvey’s involvement. “What we are happy about with Mr. Harvey is that, he’s of course internationally renowned, he’s a conservationist, an artist … and he’s probably most famous for his art,” Mr. Whorms said.
As for Skies magazine, he said the public has been receptive since 2008 when the first issues were placed onboard Cayman Airways flights.
Mr. Harvey’s next venture for the Cayman Islands is a new underwater stingray documentary.
The last one, he said, was done 15 years ago.
“We are putting together a handling guide along with the Department of Environment so tour operators know how to handle the rays and not abuse them, because we do receive a lot of complaints,” he said.