To a lot of people, Guy Harvey is just a name on tropical shirts and hats.
But this summer in downtown Pensacola, he is the main attraction at the museum of art. Through the month of August the Pensacola Museum of Art is featuring the artwork Dr. Harvey as its Summer Blockbuster exhibit called “Guy Harvey – The Lure of the Ocean.” Mary Hartshorn, Director of Communications for the Museum says having the exhibit available all summer long was important to make Harvey's art available to the widest audience possible, young and old - local and visitor.
The exhibit features artwork by Dr. Harvey from some of his earliest pen and ink drawings from the 1980s to very recent paintings and mixed media works. Guy Harvey earned his degree in Marine Biology from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977. He then returned to his native Jamaica and earned his Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies in 1984. While pursuing a career as a marine biologist, he supplemented his income with his hobby…art. "My hobby became my profession. But through that we sponsor and provide the money that is required for all these research efforts and the conservation efforts that come as a result."
Those efforts include supporting “catch-and- release” fishing ethics, collaborating with Nova Southeastern University in Dania Beach, FL, to form the Guy Harvey Research Institute, and working with many organizations to help manage and protect fishery resources around the world. He calls over fishing one of the biggest problems facing sea life today and says there are solutions right here in Florida. "There was a big focus here in Pensacola and throughout Florida on eradicating li0n fish...reducing their populations, educating people about the problem and how to address it. And the easiest thing about the lion fish is to encourage people to eat them."
Dr. Harvey came to Pensacola for the opening of his exhibit at the Museum of Art and to participate in the lion fish removal event. He threw out the first pitch at Bayfront Stadium and also designed special jerseys for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, which they wore during their game on May 16. The jerseys were auctioned off after the game to support the museum. Though he was unfamiliar with baseball, he did enjoy talking cricket with the local sports media.
The special summer blockbuster exhibit Guy Harvey – The Lure of the Sea is going on at the Pensacola Museum of Art through August 9.