It has been my great pleasure to work with the President, Founder and Director of Beneath the Waves Film Festival, Austin Gallagher. The vision for this poster came about last fall, and we have been collaborating and planning its unveiling since then. It is so great to finally see it all come together as the official 5 year Anniversary Poster, and I am so proud to have been a small part of this organization's mission!
Tell me about your organization
Beneath the Waves(TM) Film Festival is part of Beneath the Waves, Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which aims to raise public awareness with regards to ocean conservation and marine science through the use of visual and digital media such as videos. We also seek to promote science communication and scientific literacy by encouraging and inspiring scientists, ocean enthusiasts, and members of the general public to produce, promote and communicate research and conservation through open-access, engaging short films. Thus, the approach of the organization is two-pronged: (a) to educate the public about issues facing our oceans, and (b) to inspire scientists to broaden the communication of their work, a critical need due to the status of oceans worldwide.
Over the past 5 years, we have reached over 5,000 people in-person, around the world. Festivals take place in venues ranging from small theaters to youth hostels to large auditoriums and universities. In late 2013, we launched a new initiative within Beneath the WavesTM called Youth Making Ripples. The purpose of this endeavor is to inspire K-12 students to learn about ocean conservation issues, and to tell their stories through short films. In future years, it will become a global initiative that continues as a film competition, but also develops scientific curricula based on the content of the Beneath the WavesTM films.
Beneath the Waves is run and operated by graduate students in the marine sciences.
What is the purpose of this commission?
This unique and limited-edition piece commemorates the 5 year anniversary of the festival, which has now expanded to over 6 continents and impacted thousands of people. We chose the Southeastern US and Gulf of Mexico for the piece as this is where the majority of our events in the US have been held, and where we really got our start. We wanted to not only celebrate the festival, but also highlight the amazing species that call the ocean their home thru the gorgeous and talented work of artist Carly Mejeur. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this print will go to ocean conservation and helping the Beneath the Waves non-profit achieve their goals.
What is one of your favorite stories from interacting with these film stars in the water?
One of our team's most favorite recent experiences was diving with great hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas. They are, in our eyes, a total celebration of the diversity of life in the oceans and the evolution of life on this planet. However, this species is also highly threatened due to finning and overfishing, so getting the word out on their plight is important.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be involved, Austin. I know that you and your team will accomplish great things and inspire millions! I hope that you all enjoyed learning the story behind the painting and if you are interested in supporting the cause, order your limited edition poster online today!
Carly Mejeur is a floridian artist, inspired by her ocean hobbies and travels. This Blog is for news, events, and just for fun. Click here for the artist's Bio.