MURAL ON OLD PARHAM ROAD
Renowned Artist, Wyland, is in Antigua to promote the protection of the marine environment and the marine mammals of the sea as well as clean water. The project is sponsored by WSPA, World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Wyland is in the country courtesy of the efforts of the independent tourism company, Antigua Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation (ABITPC), which is headed by Martha Watkins-Gilkes.
In an interview aired on Observer Radio, Wyland stated that if people are serious about engaging others in conservation, there is no better way than to show them the beauty of nature.
He went on to speak very positively of the shores of Antigua and Barbuda, noting in particular that the island has some of the best diving in the world.
Wyland has made his name by taking inspiration from the natural beauty he has seen around the world to paint murals, make sculptures etc.
Although inspired as an artist, Wyland has also made himself a known name in the fight for the environment and conservation. His trip on the island will be no different, as he has expressed his desire to see people come together to share in a vision of clean water.
Wyland’s Foundation, which bears his name, has since 2003 embarked on a touring schedule to promote not only art but science as well. The programme is geared particularly towards educating children about the importance of clean water, through the protection of watersheds, rivers, bays, lakes and of course oceans.
Children here will be able to participate in a project with Wyland, spearheaded in part by ABITPC, whereby a wall at the YASCO Sports Complex will be transformed into one of Wyland’s famous murals.
Children will be able to compete for a chance to meet Wyland and paint with him. Even some children, who do not win the competition, will still have a chance to contribute their efforts to Wyland’s painting.
Preparations for the arrival of Wyland commenced yesterday with the priming of the wall where the acclaimed artist will paint one of his trademark murals. It was carried out with the assistance of inmates of the prison.
Some 10 prisoners, accompanied by a prison guard arrived at the YASCO wall, eager and excited to contribute to the making of history.
The 120ft wall on Old Parham Road extending up Lady Nugent’s Avenue is to receive a life-sized marine when the California based artist will transform the area with the help of some children.
"The mural is going to be a wrap-around mural with sea scene and fish swimming up and along Nugent Avenue." Watkins-Gilkes said.