by Victoria Murphy

Wyland with kids (Wyland Foundation)
Wyland with kids (Wyland Foundation)

"We now know that water connects all the countries of the world. Our goal with these projects over the last three decades has been to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public. The health of our ocean and waterways are in jeopardy, not to mention the thousands of marine animals and plants that face extinction if we do nothing."

- WYLAND on the purpose of the WYLAND Foundation's many projects
Wyland sculpture (Wyland Foundation)
Wyland sculpture (Wyland Foundation)

Wyland: Creating large scale marine life murals and Educating the next generations

Wyland is an internationally recognized artist and marine life conservationist. He is celebrated as a painter, a sculptor, a muralist, a writer, a filmmaker, and a music producer. He is a scuba diver and an explorer and an educator. His wide ranging interests and accomplishments suggest that he is truly a modern day Renaissance man. His art has been collected by individuals and corporations in over 100 countries. His life-size murals, the series of 100 murals painted between 1981 and 2008 are entitled "Whaling Walls," are heroic by any definition. They are viewed each year by over a billion people in over 75 cities around the globe in the USA, Europe, Australia and the South Pacific, and Asia, including Beijing, the site of his 100th mural for the 2008 Olympics.

Wyland's interests in art and oceanography started at a very young age. Jacques Cousteau had an enormous influence on the developing artist and Wyland credits his love for whales and sea life to Cousteau's television shows. Wyland soon realized the great potential in combining his nascent painting career with his care and respect for the environment. Wyland believes that his worldwide audience shares his love for whales and for the oceans of this planet. As Jane Goodall has said, "Wyland brings the voices of the great and intelligent of the sea from the depths of the oceans into the hearts and lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world."

Robert Wyland painted his first mural on the side of a building in 1981 in Laguna Beach, California where he had opened his first gallery three years before. He completed his 100th mural in 2008 in Beijing and he has traveled the globe extensively bringing his heroic message of art in service of the environment. After 35 years of art making, he has established an impressive network of galleries and public art sites that promote ocean awareness through the vehicle of his signature whale imagery.

Wyland Clean Water Challenge (Wyland Foundation)
Wyland Clean Water Challenge (Wyland Foundation)
After achieving great success and international renown, Wyland created the Wyland Foundation in 1993 in the hope of educating our next generations on the importance of clean water and environmental awareness. His goal is to teach children about marine science and water conservation through his award winning marine life educational programs. The Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience and The Art in Action Campaign for Clean Water are part of the Foundation's "Clean Water for the 21st Century" initiative and have been successful in schools all over the United States.
Wyland has said, "Kid's art is very powerful. They can change the world, we just need to believe in them, let them get involved and help make a difference. The idea here is that by doing this across the country, we can unite all the kids, all the art, all the science, the message, and have it all come together in a spectacular way." Wyland has a personal mission to create a generation of activists to protect, promote and preserve our environment. Over one million children have learned "to become more positive, more creative and solution-minded." That is truly heroic!

Page created on 5/10/2013 1:07:25 PM

Last edited 1/4/2017 10:10:50 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links - Visit Wyland's website - Dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s ocean, waterways, and marine life