Marine Scientists are not the only people around that world that are concerned for the safety and well being of global shark population. Speak Up for the Blue’s newest Ocean Leader, Jessica Ardanich is an artist and graphic designer and…an Ocean Advocate. Jessica uses her work to push for a better understanding of sharks and repress the current shark reputation perpetuated by Hollywood and other media. Sharks are predators, yes, but they are not human eating machines. They are important predators at the top of the Ocean food chain that regulate other species populations that are lower on the food chain through predation.
Jessica was recently profiled in the Oceans Society’s Beyond the Blue Magazine for her recent artwork. The artwork contained a room full of stuffed animal sharks made from stuffed polar bears, koala bears, and panda bear hung from the ceiling. The exhibit had the following three questions posed:
1) If sharks appeared like this, would you feel the same?
2) If Sharks were cuddly, would you fear them?
3) If Sharks were victims of Human Cruelty, would you defend them?
Jessica did a great job in displaying sharks in a vulnerable position in the exhibit. Adding an Ocean Conservation message to an art exhibit speaks to a different set of people, i.e. not marine scientists. It could speak to people who are not aware of some of the problems facing sharks or the Oceans. Speak Up for the Blue is proud to have Jessica as one of our Up and Coming Ocean Leaders and will continue to follow her progress and relay the information as often as possible.
What do you think of Jessica’s work and how do you think art can play a role in Ocean Conservation?