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Celebrating Guy Harvey: A Man and His Sea

 In Art & Gallery News, Articles, Artists & Special Collections, Guy Harvey

November 5 was a memorable night for Park West Gallery marine artist, conservationist and scientist, Dr. Guy Harvey.

Park West Gallery joined numerous other sponsors, colleagues, marine luminaries and dear friends of Harvey to celebrate his ongoing legacy at the 9th annual Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) fundraising banquet.  More than anything, it was an evening to celebrate and share tales of great expedition, coincidence and opportunity.

Dr. Guy Harvey speaking at the 9th Annual Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation fundraising banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dr. Guy Harvey speaking at the 9th Annual Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation fundraising banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

At a glance, Harvey has achieved great success as a scientist, a philanthropist, a champion of sustainability, a wildlife conservationist, an artist, an angler, and lastly, an explorer. However, much like Santiago, the protagonist in Harvey’s favorite and fanatically read novel – Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” – Harvey has struggled with many marlins of his own.

Some marlins are literal.

During a speech at the GHOF fundraising banquet, a friend of Harvey’s recounted a great expedition where himself, Harvey, and Harvey’s son, Alex, set sail off the coast of Australia, and together successfully wrangled a 650-pound black marlin. It was the same great fish that inspired the formation of the Guy Harvey Research Institute in 1999, which battles to protect fishery resources and marine environments globally. And again, it was the marlin that Harvey laboriously painted on the hull of the 1,069-foot-long cruise ship, the Norwegian Escape – a larger-than-life commission that Harvey revealed onstage as, “the greatest artistic achievement I’ve ever had, one of the most moving experiences of my life.”

Guy Harvey standing in front of his largest commission yet, the Norwegian Escape

Guy Harvey standing in front of his largest commission yet, the Norwegian Escape.

Other marlins are figurative.

At the start of the GHOF banquet, that same close friend of Harvey outlined a mental image of the artist’s humble beginnings. Coincidentally, this image was also his first memory of Harvey, which was of him pushing a cart full of artworks on an especially sunny day in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, failing to take two successful steps without painting after painting tumbling onto the sidewalk.

During the celebration of Harvey’s artistic achievements nearly 30 years later, a representative from the City of Fort Lauderdale officially named November 5 to be “Guy Harvey Day.”

An uncanny cycle.

And so, among a room of 250 attendees, Harvey’s continuing legacy as a scientist, philanthropist and artist was celebrated in the city that started it all.

As the GHOF banquet drew to a close, fisherman retreats, cruise vacations and even Harvey’s tried-and-true signature wetsuit were auctioned to eager guests to raise funds toward the foundation’s educational and research programs.

Harvey concluded by giving warm thanks to his supporters and sponsors, including Park West Gallery, asserting that, “Together we can make a difference.”

Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation are proud to sponsor the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. To learn more, visit the GHOF website.

 

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