Wyland the environmental artist opens a new gallery on Canyon Road
Sea Cows, bronze, 10 x 6 x 13"
Green Flash, photograph, 26 x 21"
Leading nature artist and conservationist Robert Wyland opened a Santa Fe gallery this past summer—the 26th location across the U.S. devoted to his work. Although best known for paintings of marine life, Wyland believes his work will find a place in Southwest collectors’ homes. “Everything we do in the desert and the mountains finds its way to the ocean,” says the Michigan native. “Plus, there’s no gallery like the Wyland gallery. It’s really something unique to Santa Fe.” At age 14, the Detroit-born artist saw his first whale off the coast of Laguna Beach, California, where he later founded his first gallery in 1978 and also painted his first life-size Whaling Wall mural. Since then, he’s painted 99 additional murals (which are seen by an estimated one billion people each year) depicting migrating gray whales, breaching humpbacks, and other marine life. Wyland painted his most recent mural, Hands Across the Ocean, with the help of student artists from 110 countries. Displayed in October 2008 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the half-mile-long work was honored by the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to maintaining a prolific art career, Wyland spearheads the Wyland Foundation, which teaches schoolchildren to be ocean stewards. The nonprofit also sets a national mayor’s challenge for water conservation in 3,600 cities across the U.S., including Santa Fe. Even after 37 years, Wyland finds himself continuously inspired both by nature and his mission to conserve it. “I’ve realized that to save the ocean, we need to protect lakes, streams, wetlands, rainforests, and deserts,” he says. “Everything I see, all that beauty, finds its way into my art.” Although he’s known for paintings and sculpture, at his new 68
Above: American artist Robert Wyland is best known for his outdoor murals, which feature images of marine life.
gallery location he also offers fine-art photography—a new medium for him—and drawings from his sketchbook, the latter of which collectors have begun to covet. During the opening, he created even more original works when he painted live—à la his PBS series Wyland’s Art Studio, which shares his inspiration and process with viewers, along with tips for helping the environment. Wyland Galleries of Santa Fe, 202 Canyon, wylandgalleries.com
Courtesy of Wyland Galleries of Santa Fe
by As hle y M . Big g e rs