Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shark Stanley's Zen Moment: Nothing is Permanent

Guest Blog
by Carly Mejeur

At 9 AM on Saturday morning, it looked like the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival was in for a bright, beautiful sunny weekend.  Things were a little blustery, but the breeze was nice to keep us from getting too hot in the south Florida sun. 

Palm Beach Maritime Academy had four spots at this year's festival, and we decided we'd dedicate one of them to Shark Stanley, the paper shark criss-crossing the globe to find support for protecting sharks and manta rays at the upcoming Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

First we outlined the cover of The Adventures of Shark Stanley and Friends
We started the morning by cutting out the outlines that we had traced from projecting the cover of The Adventures of Shark Stanely and Friends. Then we placed them on our assigned spot, traced them out and then began the all day task of coloring them in and bringing them to life!

And then spent hours coloring everything in.
After careful consideration, and reading paragraphs from students about what they could offer, we assigned a student ambassador for Shark Stanley to talk to the crowd, inform, educate, answer questions, and take pictures of people holding Stanley.

Justin Vicari was our student ambassador
Justin Vicari did a wonderful job explaining the purpose of the book and why we were making such a big deal about it on the streets of Lake Worth. He showed some bystanders a copy of the book and told them where to find it and all seemed eager to learn more. The kids were the most intrigued, wanting to know the names of all the characters and what they were like.

Let's not forget Myrtle the Turtle and Pipa the Pilotfish!
It was such an inspiring experience.The street painting festival has always been described as performance art, but this year we really felt it. We were sharing so much information with this one work of art and making a difference by sharing with hundreds of people at a time. People were so captivated by the story behind our artwork and took many pictures while asking questions.

We invited passersby to take their photo with Shark Stanley
The 6th and 7th grade were the main contributors this year, which is pretty young for such a huge festival like this where established artists from all over come to display their talents. These students held there own among them and people could really feel the heart going into this particular piece.

And our artwork received a lot of attention
About 5 PM, we had just about finished and were planning to add the finishing touches and take the final pictures on Sunday. We looked lovingly at our friends and thought fondly of our adventures with them and said good night. About 2 hours later the rain came.

Our work is no longer visible on the street but it is not gone. It will live on in the memories of so many.  You can view all of our photos on Shark Defenders Facebook Page.

Carly Mejeur is a marine life artist and art teacher at Palm Beach Maritime Academy

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