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Guy Harvey

Artists for Conservation
2011

Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist, and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. Growing up in Jamaica, Guy spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along the Island's south coast. He was obsessed with marine life and began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed.

Born in Lippspringe, Germany on September 16, 1955 while his father was serving as a Gunnery Officer in the British Army, Guy is a 10th generation Jamaican of English heritage as his ancestors immigrated to Jamaica in 1664 shortly after Jamaica was taken from Spanish rule by the British in 1655..

Guy's natural gift to recreate the underwater realm has propelled him from Professor of Marine Biology to a Wildlife Artist and Photographer. Guy initially opted for a scientific education, earning high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977. He continued his formal training at the University of West Indies, where he obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management.

Guy began to travel the world to gain more knowledge of the behavior and activities of marine wildlife. He became an avid scuba diver and skilled underwater photographer. He pioneered a technique of diving and photographing free-swimming billfish. His personal observations made during these diving expeditions have better enabled him to capture the detail in his paintings that contributes to the popularity of his work.

"The ocean is always close at hand and I am fortunate in that I have access to this resource every day from my home and studio in Grand Cayman. To paint wildlife authentically one has to be close to nature. In the marine environment this is much more difficult than studying land animals. The time spent with them is usually very short, usually just fleeting glimpses with some of the larger pelagic animals. I continue to mix the science with the art and focus considerably on predator-prey interactions as the movement, color and drama of the action underwater is a great way to portray the subject."

As an ardent conservationist, Guy has consistently supported "catch and release" fishing ethics for game fish around the world. He works closely with many conservation organizations to help protect global fishery resources. In 1986, he was selected as Jamaica's representative to the International Game Fish Association and in 1992 was appointed as a Trustee. Guy's support of the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo and its artificial reef program was highlighted by his sponsorship in 1997 of the sinking of a retired 185-foot ship to create the artificial "Guy Harvey Reef". In 1998, Guy was voted the IGFA's first ever "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the World Fishing Awards Committee.

In 1999, Guy's first book based on Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", was published. Titled "Santiago's Finest Hour", it is now in its third printing. Also in that year, the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and Guy collaborated to create the Guy Harvey Research Institute, an organization dedicated to solution-oriented basic and applied scientific research needed for effective conservation of the world's wild fishes.

Guy's first autobiography, "Portraits from the Deep", a 208 page coffee table book was released in 2002. In 2004, a made-for-television fishing series bearing the same name, made its debut. Guy received a Telly Award in 2007 for a Portraits episode featuring black marlin, and in late 2009, he released a Natural History & Illustrated Guide Book titled Fishes of the Open Ocean, written by the leading Australian Marine Biologist and world authority of oceanic fishes, Julian Pepperell and illustrated by Guy.

In 2008, Guy launched the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), a non-profit dedicated to helping scientists and educators develop new strategies for sensible fisheries management, and instructional programs fostering future scientists and stewards of the marine environment. The same year, he was awarded the Craftsman Award from the Construction Association of South Florida for his NSU Shark mural.

In October 2009, Guy was one of five inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame. He was selected for his significant contributions through angling achievements, literature, the arts, science, education, communication, and administration of fishery resources.
Guy has collaborated with fellow marine artist, Wyland, to create several large murals in Key West, Marathon, Key Largo, Homosassa, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Guy has also created five murals on his own. In November 2009 Guy Harvey received the prestigious Wyland ICON Award, given to those who exemplify the adventurous spirit of the ocean and inspire others to do the same through their art, research or diving.

In 2010, Guy published his latest book titled "Panama Paradise" - an historical account of sport fishing in Panama and the eastern Pacific Ocean and recount of twenty years of fishing and diving experiences and the art inspired by these encounters. Guy also received three major awards, including: the Jamaica Committee's Award of Excellence, recognizing Guy's hands-on commitment to marine sciences, his inspired promotion of the protection of the marine environment, and his philanthropy; the Vasco Nunez de Balboa Grand Cross - Panama's highest honor bestowed on a non-Panamanian - for his work to conserve and publicize Panama's marine resources; and the International Swimming Hall of Fame Gold Medallion Award, presented to a former competitive swimmer for his or her national or international significant achievements in the field of science, entertainment, art, business, education, or government.

"The great significance in receiving this year's Simon Combes Conservation Award is being included among other artists whose work I have greatly admired over many years. We are living in times when artists can make important statements about the condition and over-exploitation of the natural world around us. I have embraced this opportunity in collaboration with other artists and scientists to spread the word concerning the increased need for conservation of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. It is our collective responsibility to conserve the marine environment and maintain the biodiversity of the planet."

Guy is a rare individual with an enormous breadth of talent, who was inspired to completely bridge his artistic career with true conservation science. A passionate and effective ambassador for the oceans, he has become one of the world's best known and most successful advocates in marine conservation. He currently maintains his art studio in Grand Cayman, where he lives with wife, Gillian, and their two children, Jessica and Alex. Whenever possible, Guy takes his family on fishing and field research trips. As a result, there is a new generation of Harveys demonstrating their father's love and respect of the ocean and all of its creatures.

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