Thursday, November 9, 2023

Wyland Makes Waves in Cuba with Striking Marine Mural #103

Those who have been following the career of the marine conservationist and muralist known as Wyland already know much about his impressive resume, which includes more than 100 marine murals around the world, as well as countless awards. You'll also find him listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. One journalist tagged him as the Mariine Michaelangelo. 

This spring I wrote about the re-painting of one of his first murals, located in New London Connecticut. You can read the story here and learn more about his life and motivations.

When I was notified that Wyland was heading to Cuba to paint his 103rd mural, I knew I'd want to share that story, too. 

This morning I asked him how this particular mural came about.

Wyland replied, "It was organized by my Cuban travel agent Mayra, who lives in South Florida and Cuba. It was a volunteer project, a gift to the people of Cuba. It only took me 2 1/2 days to paint what I believe is my best ocean mural. I also enlisted three young Cuban artist to join me along with Shannon Wiley, a local artist from the Florida Keys."

Wylan with four Cuban assistants.
This process of collaboration brings a community aspect that adds many layers to the story. It isn't just a gift to the community that people can cherish. It is also a treasure that the community helped create. Three decades from now those who were there when it happened will still be talking about it. A few will be telling their children about it, and in the schoolyard those children will tell their friends, "My father helped paint that."

The mural is striking for the colorful reef habitat with its varieties of coral and animalia. "The mural also depicts Ernest Hemingway‘s story of The Old Man and the Sea when he first sees the big fish, a larger than life, blue Marlin," Wyland said. "It also features all the fish and reef life of the waters of Cuba, showcasing the coming together of art and science."

Wyland and the hands of many children.

Wyland's current project is to preserve a mural that he painted on the side of a Kmart in Marathon, Florida. Evidently, when the Kmart closed the building was purchased by a developer who wanted to get rid of the mural. At this point in time
 the community has taken a stand against this plan, insisting that it not be touched. It's just another day in the life of Wyland.  

Wyland with "America's Photographer" Gary Firstenberg.

Related Links
Hemingway, Ken Burns and the Age Old Question

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long live Wyland and all his murals!

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