By Melanie Oliva

The ocean regulates our climate and supports the greatest abundance of life on Earth, yet only 2% is protected. Marine life is in serious trouble due to overfishing, pollution and ocean warming – so much so that many familiar species are expected to be wiped out within 40 years if current practices continue.1

If you’ve seen My Octopus Teacher, you may have learned many sea creatures are not so different than us, possessing abilities to work together, use tools, problem-solve and trick foe.2 Let’s use OUR intellect and work together to protect our fellow earthlings. Take an underwater journey of art and learn about eight individuals who use their work to advocate for change.

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Release by Alinda Saintval // Watercolor and ink on paper // 6in x4in (original)

“This is the third from a three-part series. Watercolor made me think of the sea and so I focused on aquatic beings such as jellyfish, koi fish, and in this case, stingrays. I’m interested in symbolism and so upon research, I found that stingrays visit your dreams to let you know you are emotionally free of all bonds and ties.” 

$6 USD and up (prints) // Purchase here. Email to request larger sizes and canvas prints. FREE SHIPPING IN THE US.

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // IG: @artstrokes_

Galaxy Resin Seahorse by Sally Harless // Resin, ink, alcohol ink // 10in x 4in x 1/4in (original)

“This one of a kind resin seahorse is a unique piece to hang on your wall or place in your curiosity cabinet! 

The back is a laser cut piece of baltic birch, cut from my own drawing. I made a dreamy color palette using resin and alcohol inks. I then drew on top of it with white ink and sealed it with a clear coat of resin.” 

$45 USD (original) // Purchase here // IG: @sadlyharmless

Miami After-image #3 by Melanie Oliva // Acrylic on canvas // 20in x 16in (original)

“Lolita the Orca (Tokitae) was kidnapped at four years old from her L-Pod family – who still swim the Puget Sound – for someone’s profit. Pre-pandemic, she had performed every day for 46 years at the Miami Seaquarium, in a tank smaller than current regulations allow and not much deeper than her body length. Lolita and other animals in captivity are relying on us to learn an important lesson: we weren’t put here to rule other animals and make them perform for us, we are meant to respect and protect them, or at the very least peacefully coexist. To help Lolita and others like her, you can watch the movie Blackfish, boycott the Miami Seaquarium and SeaWorld and support the Lummi Nation’s efforts towards her emancipation.

My After-image Series forewarns that the beauty of our world may someday only be an after-image if we close our eyes at the most critical moment and do not act to protect it.”

$17 USD and up (prints) // $800 USD, plus shipping (original) // Purchase prints here. Email to purchase the original. 

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // IG: @melanieolivaartist

Lacerations by Amylia Faizal // Watercolour and gouache // 28cm x 38cm (original)

“This painting was done based on a photo taken by the founders of Ocean Collective Media, who are raising awareness of the beauty and importance of looking after our oceans and the sea creatures that reside in it. This art piece shows a whale shark that suffered severe lacerations on its tail after a collision with a boat.”

$200 USD (original) // Email to purchase.

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // IG: @amyliafaizalart 

Reef Guardians (Mesoamerican Reef Series) by Krisanne Baker // Oil on canvas // 60in x 40in (original)

“Until ten years ago, I did not know that the health of our planet depends upon the health of the ocean (Check out World Ocean Institute’s weekly five-minute podcasts to find out more). My work focuses on making that connection between ocean health and humans, no matter where we live on the planet. The painting seen here is giving credit to the reef guardians; the Black Tipped Reef Sharks that patrol our nurseries of the ocean – coral reefs with critically endangered Elkhorn Coral that protect our shores and provide safety for the ‘youth’ of the seas. We are all connected.”

$2850 USD, plus shipping (original) // Contact the artist here to purchase. // IG: @bakerkrisanne

In the Deep by Micael Elrod // Textile // 8in x 10in (original)

“This squid piece is constructed mostly of batik dyed fabric. I thought the muddled dye of the batik gave the perfect feeling of translucency and shifting color that these beautiful and strange creatures possess.” 

$100 (original / SOLD) // Email for inquiries.

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // IG: @micael_elrod 

Practising for the State Tidals by Jaelle Pedroli // Gouache and acrylic on paper // 295mm x 430mm (original)

“‘With practice comes progress,’ said the wise blue-ringed octopus. With the state tidal only weeks away he knew with practice and the right attitude he would go deep into the finals.

All prints are printed on eco-friendly bamboo, Fine Art quality paper. Nothing less than the best in quality and environmentally sustainable production.”

$24.90 USD or $35 AUD and up (prints) // Purchase here.

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // @goodart_official 

The Importance of Plankton VII by Susan Taylor // Acrylic and resin on wood cradle // 30in x 30in (original)

“This is one piece in my ongoing series celebrating the beauty, diversity and crucial importance of plankton – which is largely microscopic. For most people, something invisible to the naked eye isn’t a priority. ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ But we need to pay attention to the health of plankton – it produces half of our oxygen and forms the foundation of the oceans’ food chain. And right now it’s being disrupted by warming ocean temperatures, acidification and pollution. My hope is that my plankton work will encourage more discussion and action in caring for our oceans.”

$1900 USD or $2500 CAD (original) // Email to purchase.

LISTEN TO THE ARTIST // @bloodstargallery 

The purpose of the All-Stars Series is not only to bring important issues to light with art, but to also widen audiences and boost artists’ sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many creatives are gig-workers who rely on income from shows, fairs, teaching, freelance work, etc. to support their art practice. These revenue streams have vanished for many and have left artists with an incredible loss of income. Please lend support by purchasing the work shown or by sharing this article. 

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