In early March, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA will host a lecture/exhibition, Sharks: the Beauty of the Ocean Predator featuring yours truly and sculptor Victor Douieb.
The event is being described as "Art and science come together like never before to heighten awareness for ocean conservation. Sculptor Victor Douieb and filmmaker Richard Theiss present an exhibition and lecture series combining stunning and impressive bronze pieces of marine animals with insightful and thought-provoking commentary on marine research and the changing landscape of ocean conservation. Douieb’s work has been on display nationwide in major galleries and museums and his magnificent shark sculptures are popular favorites. As a filmmaker, Theiss has worked closely with marine scientists and spent many years filming the iconic great white shark. His work has been seen on major networks like Discovery and National Geographic. Many of Douieb’s most popular sculptures will be on display and there will be a series of lectures where people can learn more about these two dedicated conservationists, the challenging issues facing many ocean species like sharks, and what we can do to shape the future of the oceans."
The origin of this event came about when I first met Victor at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. I had been contemplating a new lecture series, a kind of update from my presentation at the time and Victor was looking for more avenues to present his work. It occurred to me that by combining forces we could offer something special that aquariums and other ocean education institutions might be interested in having. I approached my friend, Dr, Jerry Schubel, CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific, and he was quite enthusiastic with the concept. And so, the Aquarium will host the inaugural event, putting Victor’s work on display for several months and the lectures will take place in early March.
Victor has sculpted some amazing works in bronze and stainless steel of sharks and other sea creatures (his recent work of a lionfish is a favorite of mine). His work is striking in its artistic beauty while also being anatomically accurate, and that allows people to view and appreciate sharks from an entirely different perspective. His website lists sculptures currently available and at the event he will be presenting a new sculpture of one of the Aquarium’s sand tiger sharks which Victor studied firsthand in the Aquarium’s Shark lagoon exhibit.
For my part, I will be sharing some of my personal experiences with sharks - in particular the great white shark, given that it’s a California audience. Also, I will be touching on what science has found that makes these predators so unique and critically important. Then we will turn to the important issue of shark conservation and how it has evolved from a grass roots movement to a struggle on the battleground of international politics. And finally, despite the progress that has been made to date, we’ll look at why and how people still need to be concerned and involved. Victor will also be on hand to discuss his journey as a committed conservationist.
The Aquarium of the Pacific will be posting details soon for Sharks: the Beauty of the Ocean Predator on their website. Lectures are tentatively scheduled for the evenings of March 5th (opening night), 7th and 13th. The sculptures will be on display for several months. If you’re in the neighborhood, hope to you see there. It will be an opportunity for Southern Californians to see some awesome sealife sculptures and learn about the amazing sharks of California and what is in store for their future.
Source: Aquarium of the Pacific