“To be part of the voyage means everything to me.”
“This is really exciting to come back to American Sāmoa. I was here in 2008 painting one of my Wyland Wall murals [“Riches of the Ocean”]. It’s like a homecoming here with the Hōkūleʻa, Nainoa [Thompson], and the crew, and to be part of the world voyage means everything to me,” said ocean artist Wyland.
For Wyland, everything is at stake, not only for oceans but also for us as humans as well.
“So what Nainoa is proposing with his crew is that we’re all united for this effort to protect our ocean, which is really connected not only to the health of the oceans, but to the health of the planet, to our health,” said Wyland.
And what better way to protect for the long term than to educate through the visual medium and to do what he has done around the globe to not only paint, but to engage kids to paint alongside with him.
“This is a great place, the Ocean Center, to get a lot of kids here. And that is what Nainoa and I have always been about, sharing the message of conservation through art, through what he does with the Hōkūleʻa. That’s where we need to put the light today,” said Wyland.
Wyland himself found inspiration as a keiki through watching underwater adventures.
“Like a Hawaiian lei; every place they visit is like another flower on the lei. When they’re done, it will connect all the peoples and all the countries of the world.”
“I used to watch Jacques Cousteau. Jacques Cousteau was my hero, and now today we have people like Dr. Sylvia Earle, Bob Ballard, Nainoa Thompson. So these are my heroes, living heroes, living legends that are generous enough to invite people like me, artists, to come and join their campaign to educate and inspire a generation about conservation of our beautiful water planet. And the way they’re doing it is so unique to anything that I’ve ever seen. The idea that Nainoa explained that like a Hawaiian lei; every place they visit is like another flower on the lei. When they’re done, it will connect all the peoples and all the countries of the world. And we need to do that. We can’t think about protecting one piece of water without protecting it all,” said Wyland.