By Louisa Sax
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing our ability to be productive at home, but it is inadvertently making us more creative and more engaged in our natural surroundings. This, for us, is a welcome change to the screen-addicted, fast-paced corporate world we lived in not so long ago. Guy Harvey and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation have embraced the shelter-in-place order and worked to bring the open ocean to the safety of your home through educational events, activities and documentaries.
In one exciting stay-at-home educational initiative, Guy Harvey hosted a virtual art class and competition on Tuesday, May 19 via Facebook Live. Viewers followed Guy’s one-of-a-kind tutorial to paint a white shark using watercolors and submitted their artwork for judging by Guy Harvey himself. Each and every one of the 60 submissions to the competition was outstanding, creative and inspirational. In addition to their artwork, participants shared stories of their experience following along with Guy and receiving the information that he and his trusty assistant, Jessica Harvey, shared of marine biology, their adventures and interactions in the field.
The Smicklas family from Vero Beach, Florida, joined every session, setting up a special art station in their living room and making it a family-fun event. Nick and Summer Smicklas, the father-daughter team, both love art and everything on the water. Their favorite classes were learning how to paint the texture of the water and how to mix different mediums together in one piece. The family shared: “Guy and Jessica motivated us to start some new paintings … we have been stuck at home throughout this pandemic, and the sessions gave us something to look forward to and something to do together that we enjoy!”
The winner of the Guy Harvey Art Contest was Martim Quinta, a 17-year-old from Portugal. Guy Harvey commented that Martim’s piece showed “very good execution, attention to detail and he stuck to the original concept.” The runner-up was Rio Saress from Cooper City, Florida, whose creative ability demonstrates the white sharks’ vulnerability to extinction. Rio says that she uses a fluid paint and vapor trail technique as a reminder that “while we go about our daily lives, the creatures in our ocean are quietly slipping away,” and to send a message of hope.
Guy Harvey looks forward to hosting another art competition in the near future!