View galleries of amazing art from professional artists and talented students depicting a wide diversity of sanctuary species, sea surface and underwater views.
After many years of studying the ocean’s seafloor, marine biologist Dr. Peter Auster of the University of Connecticut realized that an underwater landscape was a near impossibility with our present technology. He turned to art as a way of depicting this alien world. Through a grant from the Pew Foundation, he contracted with professional artists to render scenes of two important sanctuary habitats. Using hundreds of still images and hours of video footage, M.J. Brush and Joline Putnam developed these artworks, which have become sanctuary posters.
From Military Ships to Sanctuary Whales: Tom Freeman’s “A Sanctuary Protects Them”
In 2014, renowned maritime artist Tom Freeman took on the mantle of Artist-in-Residence at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Although famous for his paintings of sailing ships and military vessels, he accepted the task of depicting sanctuary resources and people. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary’s painting of humpback whales and whale researchers, entitled “A Sanctuary Protects Them,” was one of the five pieces he completed for the sanctuary system before his unfortunate passing in 2015. Along with the sanctuary whale art was a painting of Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving wooden whaleship, in the sanctuary just off Provincetown. That art commemorated the ship’s 38th voyage, in which it acted as an ambassador for whale protection.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Massachusetts Marine Educators (a non-profit association of formal and informal marine educators) have jointly sponsored an annual Marine Art Contest for several decades with the theme of "Exploring the Biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary." Additional sponsors now include the New England Aquarium, Center for Coastal Studies, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Ocean Genome Project/Northeastern University, and Woods Hole Sea Grant. A brochure for each year's contest is released in the fall and available on this website. The scheduled deadline usually falls in early May. View past winners and honorable mentions in our student art gallery.