Due to unforeseen weather conditions, internationally renowned marine life artist WYLAND could not be with us in person in Grenada to paint a life-size marine mural at the Tanteen Children’s playground on October 18th 2011. Instead the artist joined us via a live stream and spoke with the both the schoolchildren and artists who have taken ownership of the project, as well as all present at the dedication ceremony Tuesday October 18th 2011 at 4pm.
The team of Caribbean artists was headed by Wild Life artist Kathryn McConnachie from Antigua, and included three Grenadian artists, who were all inspired by the initiative and stepped up to the challenge. They painted the mural and provided guidance to the school children.
The project was to plant the seed of preservation in the Grenada community by encouraging community participation, and was funded by the WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) under the auspices of ABITPC (Antigua Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation) headed by Martha Watkins Gilkes, in conjunction with two Grenadian organizations, the Grenada Fund for Conservation Inc. (GFC) and YWF-Kido Foundation Inc., which have a long history of working to raise public awareness and promote conservation of both local and Trans-boundary natural resources.
Each student had a turn to paint alongside the artists and contribute to the rendering of the marine masterpiece. They were given renderings of marine life and empowered to paint what inspired them the most. The impetus for this tribute to marine conservation is the commitment of ABITPC and WSPA to increase public awareness and education of marine ecology throughout the region, and to and change the attitudes and actively teach students to become more caring and conscious stewards of marine life and endangered creatures.
"This mural is a labor of love. Children from all ages have expressed their views about the Ocean and its creatures. It’s very exciting to see how the future generation is embracing values such as respect for all marine life. WSPA is honored to have been part of this amazing creation" - Said Marcela Vargas, Programmes Manager at WSPA.
Public Relations officer for ABITPC Martha Watkins Gilkes stated, “The creation of the marine mural has been a resounding success, with the goal being to reach out to the children of Grenada and teach them to care about the ocean. Because what is good for the ocean is good for us, we need to heal the ocean before it is too late and we must start with the youth. I am delighted to be part of the effort in making all of this happen."