When Art From Scrap staff members needed to find an artist who could create a one of a kind sea creature out of reuse materials for the Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival, they thought of mosaic artist Betsy Gallery.
"Working at Art From Scrap, we know a lot of artists who are concerned with environmental issues and who work with reuse materials." says Lindsay Johnson, Executive Director of Explore Ecology, the nonprofit that manages Art From Scrap. "We've worked with Betsy before on the beautiful mural at the Watershed Resource Center. We asked Betsy if she could create a sea creature made from reclaimed materials, tiles, and sea glass. We were thrilled when she said yes!"
Betsy Gallery is an award winning mosaic artist and Santa Barbara native whose public murals can be viewed at the Outreach Center for the Teaching of Ocean Science (OCTOS) at UCSB and at the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach.
Betsy came up with the idea of making a California Two-Spot Octopus (Octopus bimaculoides). The Octopus will be on display at the entrance to the Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival. Visitors to the Fest will have a chance to win the Octopus Mosaic in the Festival's 2016 Raffle, which this year benefits Explore Ecology.
"This is a critter specific to the Channel Islands. Its colors tend to vary according to the background." says Betsy Gallery. "Marine life creatures are very graceful and colorful and lend themselves to mosaics. And ocean backgrounds follow the gentle flow or andamento characteristic of mosaics from ancient to modern times. I am using sea glass donated by Kerry Kelley, reuse iridescent vitreous tiles, and round glass from Art from Scrap. The finished piece will be 4 x 4 feet."
Betsy added another sea creature to the mosaic mural. "I just read about a newly discovered critter that the Ocean Exploration Trust vessel Nautilus found in the Channel Islands. It's been called a purple orb, which may be a new species of nudibranch. So I am including it in the mosaic. It may be the very first artist’s interpretation of this marine creature!"