The Surfrider Foundation Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter is currently drawing on the help of local artists and photographers to promote its vision of pristine oceans and a thriving sea life. Dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, the non-profit foundation believes that one of the best ways to convey its environmental message is through imagery.
Surfrider HB/SB Chapter Volunteer Coordinator Gene Rascon and Web Master Seth Matson are putting their creative skills to use to spearhead the Chapter’s environmental concerns through the various art media.
Rascon, the owner of online gallery Surf City Art Co., represents many of the top surf artists and photographers, including Robb Havassy, Nathan Gibbs, Jay Alders, Ron Croci, Sean Davey, Tony Ludovico, and Flick Ford. Rascon says he looks for artists who “celebrate the beauty of nature and are able to express the wonder of our global water resources and colorful sea life.”
The stunning visuals these artists create not only help to generate awareness of the environment, but raise money for ocean-related causes. Surf City Art Co. donates a portion of its proceeds from the artists’ works to the Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups. And the artists themselves have donated their artworks for fundraising events.
On Ohana “Family” Day, April 22, which fell on the same day as Earth Day this year, surf artists Robb Havassy and Nathan Gibbs both showed up in Seal Beach to lend their support.
Havassy donated a surfboard he painted with a Native American and environmental theme and Gibbs donated his artworks and a copy of his award-winning environmental book The Betrayal of Man.
One of the leading creative voices in the surf culture, Havassy balances commerce with environmental awareness. In addition to working with major surf brands like Hurley, Reef, and Globe, he gives freely to the Surfrider Foundation and numerous other environmental groups.
A renaissance man of the surf scene, Havassy truly does it all – creating dramatically vivid paintings, designing his own fashion collection and eco-friendly line of sandals, and writing the critically-acclaimed 2-volume book, Surf Story, an assemblage of art and stories from the surf culture’s most influential artists, writers and photographers.
Gibbs, who often paints on recycled wood panels, says “All my art is generally based on the environment. The theme is both the destruction and revitalization of nature.” He adds that “Much of my work reveals the relationships between energy, water, life, surfing, humanity, and emotion and how those both create and destroy our natural world, specifically the ocean.”
A member of the Surfrider Foundation since 1991, Gibbs “likes to give people another avenue to enjoy the environment through my paintings.” His Dark and Light series of surf art and wave paintings focuses on the yin and yang of the cognitive relationships between color and life.
Matson, the owner of Matson Graphics in Huntington Beach, has designed websites, advertising materials and T-shirts for many of Southern California’s leading surf businesses, including Rusty Surfboards and Billabong. A lifelong environmentalist, he donates many hours to the Surfrider Foundation, designing promotional materials and guiding the HB/SB Chapter’s website.
Matson designed the DVD covers for Wave of Compassion, a film to raise money for SurfAid International, and Minds in the Water, the award-winning film about protecting dolphins. His art, which is characterized by bold colors and embedded messages, often incorporates “nontraditional painting tools, and even plastics that I find on beach cleanups.”
Photo by the Surfwriter Girls of Nathan Gibbs with his painting Coral Acidification.©
- Surfrider Foundation and Kohls to host Ohana Family Day at Seal Beach Pier (oc-breeze.com)
- Surfriders to hear about solar surfboards from owner of Coral Reef Wetsuits (oc-breeze.com)
- Surfrider Foundation promotes World Water Day (oc-breeze.com)