Wildcoast, an international conservation organization that conserves the coast and ocean, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the Keep It Wild International Fine Art Event and Virtual Auction and Fundraiser (Sept. 25 - Oct. 6, 2020), featuring original artwork to raise funds and public awareness about Wildcoast’s award-winning work in conserving coastal and marine ecosystems and iconic ocean wildlife in the U.S. and Mexico.
Wildcoast establishes and manages protected areas, advances strong conservation policies, addresses climate change, and engages communities in the protection and stewardship of healthy, thriving oceans, coastlines, and wildlife. From pristine coastlines, mangrove-ringed lagoons and underwater preserves to grey whale birthing sanctuaries, sea turtle nesting beaches and stunning coral reefs, Wildcoast has conserved more than 30 million acres of the most iconic and globally important coastal and marine ecosystems and ocean wildlife in the world.
Jen Phillips, owner and curator of Gracey Lane Art Gallery, has graciously agreed to help curate Wildcoast’s 20th Anniversary Art Auction. “Gracey Lane Gallery is thrilled to help support Wildcoast and its compelling conservation mission on this very special anniversary,” explains Phillips. “We are aligned with Wildcoast’s ethos to preserve natural spaces and conserve wildlife for future generations, especially during this critical time when so much is at stake. Gracey Lane Gallery is honored to work with and exhibit such exceptional artists and willing to donate our consulting and curating services associated because this is such a special event and deserving cause.”
More than 35 artists from both the U.S. and Mexico have come together to support Wildcoast’s virtual fundraiser and conservation work. “We are both humbled and excited, as an organization that works to protect our coast and ocean and address climate change in both Mexico and the U.S., to have a lineup of such passionate artists from both countries who support our efforts to protect our coast and ocean and save the planet,” said Wildcoast’s executive director Serge Dedina.
Wildcoast’s Keep It Wild art ambassadors include an exciting array of talented fine artists working in a variety of media and styles. From established artists to fresh, up-and-coming new faces, photorealism to abstract, there is something for every art lover and collector. U.S. art ambassadors include internationally renowned, contemporary painter, Eric Zener; fine art photographers Drasko Bogdanovich, Troy Brajkovich, Aaron Chang, Catherine Girard, Ralph Lee Hopkins, and Doug Gastélum; muralists Celeste Byers and Taylor Gallegos; multi-media artists Virginie Le Boursicaud Mazueau and Hannah Vanveen, fluid artist Briar West; visual watercolor artist Marian Howard; and talented, emerging and established painters and illustrators Viralboa, Edwin Vasquez, Jeremy Romero, Taylor Coryn, Karissa Kaye, India McHale, Merrie Okie, Robin Piper, Marissa Quinn, Clare Salisbury, Rachel Dejohn, and Becky Berreth.
Photorealist painter and internationally acclaimed San Francisco-based artist Eric Zener shares why he joined the virtual exhibit and fundraiser, “The connection between the inspiration of my work and the mission of Wildcoast could not be more clear. Without the preservation of our marine ecosystems, we will lose the refuge and renewal that are at the heart of what I am connecting to in my work.”
Mexican art ambassadors include internationally known Enrique Ciapara, up and coming abstract artist Silvestre Miranda, sculptor and designer Ricardo Alvarez, muralist and illustrator Luis Garzón Masabo, artist and curator Mariza Sanchez, and photographers Claudio Contreras Koob and Miguel Angel de la Cueva.
Tijuana-based muralist Luis Garzon Masabo relays why he has stepped up to support Wildcoast. “Art and Nature. Art and Society. Art and Community. This is what I identify with. Social activism through art.”
As a part of the Keep It Wild VIP virtual art experience on Sept. 25, Phillips will share a story she has discovered while curating this fine art exhibit. “There is an incredibly beautiful connection between the work of Luis Masabo in Mexico and his mission to beautify Tijuana through art and the fantastic work Wildcoast is doing to help Tijuana clean, reuse and recycle the overflowing river of trash. I’ve never seen the impact of trash so artistically communicated.”
“An event of this kind is very unique to this San Diego-Tijuana region as, despite the border, we stand shoulder to shoulder here, sharing the ocean and air and the responsibility to protect our natural resources,” says Tijuana-based Laura Araujo, a Wildcoast board member. “It’s about the community coming together on both sides of the border and these incredible artists aligning for an important cause.”
A teaser kickoff to the Keep It Wild art auction occurred on Aug. 22, 2020 when sand artist Robin Piper created imagery during low tide at Swami’s in Encinitas, California, while Clare Salisbury painted live on the cliffs above. Musician Luke Mitrani was there to lend some tunes while Salisbury completed her coastal landscape in 90 minutes, which caught the eye of an eager buyer. The piece was sold to local Encinitas residents who live near Swami’s. A perfect start to the upcoming fundraiser.
Wildcoast is also pleased to announce their 20th anniversary ambassadors who include: Pro Skateboarder Bucky Lasek, Musician Luke Mitrani, Surfer Greg Long, renowned photographers Bil Zelman and Gabe Sullivan, sustainable chef Carlo Guardado, surfboard shaper “Aristotle,” Kind Humans founder Justin Wilkenfeld and more.
The Keep It Wild International Fine Art Exhibit and Art Auction starts Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. with a VIP Virtual Experience to celebrate 20 years of Wildcoast. Curated and produced by Gracey Lane Gallery, this virtual “Sneak Peek” gallery tour and happy hour experience will feature internationally acclaimed artists, keynote speakers, short videos, live painting, special guests and a gallery preview for buyers interested in bidding.
Buyers with intent can make a reservation to visit Gracey Lane Art Gallery to view pieces of interest. Please email email@example.com. Standard COVID-19 protocols will apply.