Invasive the Lionfish


Invasive the Lionfish

04/22/19—Earth Day


Date: Monday, April 22, 2019 - Earth Day
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Location: Rosemary Beach, South Barrett Square (by the flagpole)

Free and Open to the Public, EVERYONE is encouraged to join us!

Join Rosemary Beach, Ohana Institute staff, the student body, their families and friends at the unveiling of INVASIVE, the Lionfish.

It’s a real community effort -

Rosemary Beach, the Seaside Institute and Ohana Institute collaborating to bring attention to the problem of single-use plastics and offering ways we can be better stewards of our oceans and earth as a way to celebrate Earth Day!

Informative educational programs are the goal of the Seaside Institute.  In 2018 one of Seaside’s programs, Washed Ashore,  was attended by the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Committee.  The Seaside Neighborhood School and the Ohana Institute were invited to participate in follow-up programs.

 The Seaside Institute Chair, Victoria Lee, says the teaching workshops purpose, sponsored by the John and Carolyn Peterson Foundation and the Seaside Institute benefiting both schools, was to foster understanding and raise the consciousness of our younger generation. Washed, Education Consultant, Patrick Chandler provided training to instructors on developing environmental and science curriculum and integrating art to engage the students.

 The RBSE committee was intrigued by Washed Ashore’s use of marine debris crafted into sculptures to depict the issue of plastics in our oceans. During the planning of the 2019 Exhibition, the team thought it would be a great idea to include a marine sculpture to further increase support addressing our ocean’s plight.

Ohana Institute Founder, Lettye Burgtorf was invited to participate and the response from Lettye and her staff, Julie Martin, Visual Arts instructor and Mike Sturdivant, Science instructor was amazing…

“The Ohana Institute is excited to participate in the Washed Ashore marine plastics program”, said Ohana’s Mike Sturdivant. “We are thankful that the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition Committee shares in this passion for protecting our marine environment and for inspiring health-promoting behaviors. The program is designed to increase awareness and promote individual responsibility regarding the problem of single-use plastics accumulating in the marine environment. Cultivating awareness of our opportunity to personally impact and improve our shared world is one of our primary goals at the Ohana Institute.”

“For our sculpture, we have chosen to display a Lionfish. The Lionfish is a particularly beautiful fish, brightly colored in contrasting red and white stripes. It sports fantastic spines and has flowing sails on its extended fins and tail. The image of a Lionfish displayed on the Rosemary Beach grounds will surely attract attention from passersby. Awareness is the first of our goals.”

“After being lured by the beauty of the Lionfish, viewers will be stung with the contrast of the ugly discarded plastic material. Up close, it will become apparent that single-use plastics accumulate and remain in our environment virtually forever. This contrast is important. The dissonance experienced by seeing a thing of beauty and then also experiencing disgust primes the mind for learning and action.”

“The Lionfish is a particularly interesting sea creature to portray. Lionfish have venomous spines. They decimate populations of important reef fish. They have no known predators in Florida waters. So, why use the Lionfish to promote conservation? Simple. The Lionfish is an invasive species. Plastics are invasive to the ocean environment. People are responsible for plastic pollution. We are rapidly jeopardizing the marine environment and our own health. Unprecedented in the rest of the animal world, humans are becoming our own invasive species.”

“Our Lionfish sculpture displayed in Rosemary Beach will educate, inspire, and facilitate personal behavior changes that can benefit humanity and the ocean we all depend upon.”

Tom Kramer, RBSE Project Director, reports that this year the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition will be significantly enhanced. INVASIVE will continue to be displayed throughout the Sculpture Exhibition which formally opens May 24, 2019, and ends February 14, 2010. The RBSE Committee chose from a stellar number of submissions. 53 artists from all over the US and Europe submitted 77 works for consideration, 16 of which will grace the greens and parks of Rosemary Beach.