WILDCOAST – A voice for the coast and the ocean

Artist Bios

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WILDCOAST ART AMBASSADORS

AARON CHANG

Artist Statement: My passion is to share my love and intimate connection with the ocean and create art that instills a sense of wonder in the beauty of creation.

Bio:  Aaron Chang is an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer who owns two thriving art galleries in California – one in Solana Beach and the other in Carmel-by-the-Sea. He spent 25 years as a senior photographer at Surfing magazine, traveling to the far reaches of the globe. During this time, Chang set new standards for modern ocean photography.

 

ANNA PEARSON

Artist Statement: Art for me is therapy, my life line and language to communicate with the world without a need to say anything. After coming to California I was enchanted by the ocean and it’s unspoken power. Ever since ocean motives emerge in my artworks to commemorate my eternal love for the West Coast.

Bio: Anna Pearson is a rising artist, based in San Diego. She’s an immigrant from Ukraine who reinvented herself as a full-time artist and a muralist after coming to the U.S. five years ago. Pearson works with different media, but a special place in her heart belongs to pen drawing. Clean lines and nature-inspired shapes of her art take root in her childhood, filled with flowers, tall trees and endless fields of wheat under bottomless Ukrainian sky.

 

AUSTIN FINLEY

Artist Statement: WILDCOAST’s vision for the ocean has given me hope and clarity. It's our responsibility to conserve our coastlines so we can continue to draw inspiration from the ocean.

Bio: Austin Finley graduated from SCU Channel Islands with a BA in Studio Art and currently resides in Ventura County, where he has been building a name for himself as a painter and surfer. His art is based on ancient sculptures and wall reliefs where facial and body features are very defined. Essentially, he vectorizes a face and uses color to create contrast between the shapes as well as the background. Austin has been participating in local group shows and has started to do collaborations with local clothing companies. His goal is to have solo art shows to showcase his progression in his painting and grow to where he can show in galleries across the US. 

 

AUSTIN NOVY

Artist Statement: My passion in documenting is within the intersections of the wild around us. Documenting our wild and the elements is so humbling and impactful to me.

Bio: Austin Novy is a wildlife photographer and cinematographer that is from Encinitas, California. He grew up surfing, skateboarding and exploring the wild elements from the ocean to the land. 

 

BEATRIS BURGOIN

Artist Statement: I believe that when making art we transform. When we push ourselves to the limits, we are able to expand artistically and, at the same time, connect. In that moment, the mind takes a break. You find yourself in pure presence, where everything is beyond judgement. As the viewer sees the work, he/she bears witness to the journey. When we really look with all of our senses, we can connect to the expansion and glance at our own limitlessness.

Bio:  Beatris Burgoin was born and raised in southern Baja California, Mexico, as a member of an artistic family. She started painting when she was 19 and recuperating from a car accident. She’s been developing her style for over 17 years and has evolved into a modernistic oil painter utilizing only three primary colors and white. Residing in Crestone, Colorado, she has become a very prolific artist and finds that with Crestone’s big spaces, natural beauty and loud silence, she has room to grow and go deep into her artistic path. In Crestone, she has explored different forms of art while continuing to develop techniques in oil painting. Her artwork has been acquired by collectors around the globe, including Europe, Latin America, the Western Pacific and North America. Her work has been featured in exhibits and galleries in La Paz, Loreto, Barcelona, Colorado, Texas, Chicago and more.

 

BIL ZELMAN

Artist Statement: I spent the past four years focusing my camera on the fragile places where man and nature collide and begin my most recent book with images of mangroves that have since been destroyed by man-made effects. WILDCOAST’s commitment to protecting what remains of the world’s shorelines and wetlands has me committed to supporting them in return.

Bio: Bil Zelman has made portraits for myriad A-listers from Taylor Swift and Kristen Wiig to John Legend and the Rolling Stones, been named Top 200 Photographers Worldwide fifteen years in a row and received the International Center for Photography’s Deeper Perspective Award in 2019. Zelman’s 2020 nature book, And Here We Are, Stories From the Sixth Extinction, won bronze at the Prix de la Photographie in Paris Book Prize.

 

BRI SMITH

Artist Statement: The goal of Sea Plastic Art is to spread awareness about marine debris through art. In hopes people will want to join the effort in protecting our marine life and beaches from plastic pollution. 

Bio: Bri Smith is a scuba instructor living on the south shore of Kauai. She collects marine debris from the island’s east facing beaches to make art. It takes hours of beach clean ups and sorting plastic pieces to make these creations. As an eco artist she hopes to spread awareness about marine debris harming marine life and littering coastlines. Through this plastic art journey, she has teamed up with nonprofits to engage the youth with educational outreach programs. For the last two years, Sea Plastic Art has been hosted in the Washed Up marine debris art exhibit showcasing trash artists across the island. 

 

CAMI ABEL

Artist Statement: My mission, as an artist, is to help foster a deep love and connection to the natural world. What we fall in love with, we protect.

Bio: Cami Abel grew up in coastal San Diego. Three years ago, she moved from California to a small coastal village in Southern Baja on the Pacific with her husband and two sons. Since her early 20's her work with art has been connecting people to nature.  As a long time open-water swimmer at La Jolla Cove, many of her most cherished experiences in nature have been under water. She loves swimming in the kelp, and in the clean clear waters of both sides of the Baja Peninsula. Much of her work in the past was designing interpretive panels for nature trails and parks, reference materials and education.Since relocating, life is more simple and calm. She draws and paints en plein air and is currently working with wood and pyrography, creating finely sanded, one-of-a-kind wooden blocks with fire-drawings of wildlife found in Southern California and Baja. 

 

CASEY RICHARDSON

Artist Statement: I am so glad to be donating my work to such an important cause. I grew up on the ocean and the preservation of our beaches is something I am always excited to be involved in anyway I can. Working with natural elements such as clay has impacted my passion for sustainability. 

Bio: Casey began working with clay roughly four years ago in college. She had always been curious about the medium and decided to try it. She has been beholden to ceramics since as it is truly therapeutic for her. Her inspiration and style often changes as she moves through different seasons of life, but her main muse is the concept of playfulness, in whatever way that manifests. She is heavily influenced by exciting patterns, bright colors, and innovative surface design. She is also very pulled to the magic that is raw clay bodies with minimal design paired with simple, functional forms. She has been teaching ceramics for just over a year and loves watching students grow into their own styles of playfulness and creation. 

 

CLARE SALISBURY

Artist Statement: WILDCOAST is an amazing organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the marine life around us. I am so happy to be involved with such an organization and be able to donate my paintings to benefit their efforts.

Bio: Clare is an international artist and new resident to San Diego. She obtained her BFA in Studio Art from State University of New York Oswego and now teaches painting. Clare specializes in live art performances both on canvas and body. She also creates pieces for private clients including canvas paintings, murals, design work and wood work. She has collectors around the world. Her latest philanthropy has been integrating her art with environmental conservation efforts, specifically ocean clean up.

 

DIANA RAGSDALE

Artist Statement: There are a few things that bring me endless joy. My family, nature and painting. I have been given the opportunity to combine my passion for painting with nature and, in this case, the ocean. I chose encaustic as the medium for this project because of its grace and elegance moving across the panel and brilliance in color and texture.The same holds true for our oceans! I breathe deepest when I am in her powerful presence! 

Bio: A Utah native, Diana currently resides in Salt Lake City. After a 30-year career in the sciences, teaching Human Anatomy and practicing Physical Therapy, she shifted her focus to her creative passions of painting and writing. During her time as a member of The Artist Collective of Park City, she discovered her love for oil and encaustic painting. Diana has several collectors in Utah and has done commissions for clients. She was also a selected artist for the Peace House charitable gala benefiting underprivileged children and abused women. Her memoir Loose Cannons will be published in 2022. 

 

DRASKO BOGDANOVIC

Artist Statement: Creativity is my purest relationship to a tumultuous, and short lived, life. I thrive in moments when I exist in a creative state to balance out the negative. I wish to promote a positive and honest imprint on those who interact with myself and my art.

Bio: A professional photographer based out of California, Drasko’s photography focuses on aspects of fine art reflected within the natural beauty of the ocean and human form. His photography focuses on aspects of fine art reflected within the natural beauty of the ocean and human form. Spontaneity and professionalism are his forte; new opportunity and constant learning, his mantra.

 

EDWIN VASQUEZ

Artist Statement: My art shows my experiences in Oaxaca, Mexico. I project its culture; its beautiful intricacy. My art is a reflection of life in Mexico and what is happening to people, wildlife, and culture. These paintings start a conversation about coastal and sea life. In this way, my art reflects and supports WILDCOAST's mission, projects, and philosophies, and I am happy to contribute my work to this event.

Bio: Edwin is a self-taught artist raised between two cultures. While based in San Diego, CA, his travels through Mexico, exploring the landscape and culture, have greatly influenced his work.

 

ERIC ZENER

Artist Statement: The connection between the inspiration of my work and the mission of WILDCOAST could not be more clear. Without the preservation of our marine ecosystems, we will lose the refuge and renewal that are at the heart of what I am connecting to in my work.

Bio: Eric Zener, the San Francisco-based, photorealist painter, has been exhibited in numerous galleries across the US and internationally for the last 30 years. ”My work reflects our collective desire for transformation into something ideal. In my paintings I seek to create a sense of sanctuary using the subject of water and our connection with it. I use our relationship with water, nature and each other as a metaphor for transformation, refuge and renewal. Often I use the image of a plunge or splash as symbolic of the portal water leads us through. The bubbles are the exhalation of the past; a letting go. I believe that even in its ephemeral state, these moments lift us – freeing us from the weight of our world and allowing us to connect to something larger than ourselves; something maternal and eternal.”

 

GAGE FORSTER

Artist Statement: The saying "travel while you're young" implies that travel can only be done early in life, but my goal is to prove, through photography, that it's never too late for anyone to get out and explore.

Bio: Gage Forster is a photographer based on the West Coast, focusing on lifestyle and adventure photography. He gets stoked on meeting new people and collaborating to create amazing work. Through travel and friendships, he aims to capture small stories and share my experiences.

 

HANNAH VAN VEEN

Artist Statement: The reason why I wanted to support WILDCOAST is because I have a huge love for our ocean. Most of what I create lives in the ocean and I hate to see something so beautiful so mistreated. I admire the work that WILDCOAST is doing in Baja and my hometown of Encinitas.

Bio: A self-taught artist with a passion for woodworking, Hannah grew up in a surfing and fishing family and the ocean has always played a huge part in her life. Inspiration for her piece comes from the beauty she witnesses while traveling, surfing, and diving. Her latest piece is inspired by her adventures while immersed in a school of tuna spearfishing. Hannah hopes to shed light on ocean conservation awareness through her artwork and believes in responsible fishing and sustainability.

 

HILARY DUFOUR

Artist Statement: I enjoy exploring themes of the natural world and the complex relationships within it; everything is connected. With representations of flora and fauna, I hope to foster a greater appreciation and respect for our diverse planet.

Bio: Hilary Dufour is a San Diego-based multimedia artist, who studied Studio Art and Art History in her undergraduate years. More recently, she earned a MS in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and works full time as a GIS specialist. Her art practice is a valued creative outlet. She recently completed two murals in San Diego, one of which can be found at the local, sustainably-sourced cafe, Coffee Cycle.

 

KAHLIA LEAR

Artist Statement:  I am a big supporter of our oceans and wildlife and express this  through my art. The ocean is an oasis of life and beauty that is under severe threat and needs our urgent attention. It is my mission through my art and sustainable swimwear company to help raise awareness on the state of our oceans and lead the way to a more sustainable world.

Bio: A California native, Kahlia is self-taught artist and creator of Klearwater Swim™ & Design. Her exposure to the water at an early age has been the foundation and inspiration for most of her artwork and creative drive. Her artistic journey began the moment she learned how to pick up a pencil and draw. After discovering surface pattern design, she began turning her paintings and sketches into seamless repeating patterns that could be digitally printed onto any fabric and then launched her eco-friendly sustainable swimwear company. She is committed to inspire the community of swimmers, surfers, beach bums and water lovers alike to become conscious consumers, who are passionate about our ocean life, rainforests and the environment as much as she is. 

 

KARISSA KAYE

Artist Statement: My mixed media creations are influenced by my love for the ocean and the skate/surf culture that surrounds me.

Bio: Based out of Oceanside, CA. Karissa brings a whimsical, ethereal, and detailed aspect into her work using an array of mediums such as pen & ink, watercolor, and acrylic. Karissa has done commissioned work in the past with companies and organizations such as; WILDCOAST, Watermark Surf Co., Latinos Unidos, and others.  

 

KRISTIN CODDINGTON-GORDON

Artist Statement: By creating sculptures of struggling species, I give animals a voice. The message is left undefined, but is clearly in reference to environmental collapse. I hope my art stirs up an emotion prompting others to do all they can. The question is asked. What Now?  

Bio: Kristin, a ceramic artist living in Northern California, is a fierce fighter for the environment, a mother of three half-wild creative daughters and married to a guy who knows to stay out of the way of what she is doing. In addition to her background in scientific illustration and natural history, Kristin finds that the most important component of her art is having the time, passion and freedom to work without instruction or influence. Each sculpture is made by hand without the use of a mold, making each piece unique and individual. The sculptures are raku fired and then waxed with beeswax.  

 

LUIS GARZÓN MASABÓ

Artist Statement: Art and Nature. Art and Society. Art and Community. This is what I identify with. Social activism through art.

Bio:  Luis Garzón Masabó born in San Luis, Santiago, Cuba where his love for painting started at an early age. He joined the Santiago Visual Art School and then went off to Havana to join the prestigious ISA (Havana’s Center for the Arts). In Cuba, he worked as a designer, illustrator and chief curator for several galleries. In 2002, he moved  to Tijuana where he is now a professor of drawing at UABC. As an artist, he has been part of myriad collective and individual exhibits and his works can be found in public and private collections in Cuba, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, Belgium, Romania, United States and Germany.

 

MARISSA QUINN

Artist Statement: I believe that art is a tool for educating and healing because it speaks to us of important issues beyond the scope of words, and into the spirit. Through the pairing of art and education, WILDCOAST is able to make a broader impact in their mission to save our seas, and ultimately our planet. I am inspired to continue the work of spreading the mission and message of WILDCOAST through the work of my hands and through telling the stories of the wildlife they work so hard to heal.

Bio: Marissa Quinn is a professional Artist and Muralist based in Hawai'i. She has permanent mural installations in Michigan, Maryland, Ohio, California, and the Island of Bali. Her delicate and inimitable penwork guides the viewer through an emotional journey of nature’s paradox of growth through decay. Her work is a glimpse into the deep caverns of the internal mindscape, based on personal visions and dream states. Known for their stunning detail, Quinn’s pieces are as recognizable as they are thought provoking.

 

MARTHA RUSSO

Artist Statement:  Incubo is a new series that has sprung from the pandemic. I have been thinking about how many petri dishes have been in action to try to figure out the nasty virus.  This piece is about the wonder, alchemy, and lusciousness of materials and the heat of the kiln. I want my works to get into your bones and guts, to touch on the raw, the visceral, the nerves; to murmur up through the body to make a time and place for contemplation and reflection about our basic, biological humanness. 

Bio: Martha Russo earned her BA in developmental biology and psychology from Princeton University (1985) and earned her MFA at the University of Colorado Boulder (1995). Russo’s sculptures and installations have been exhibited nationally at venues such as the Alan Stone Gallery in New York, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, and The Santa Fe Art Institute. In 2016, her work was the focus of a 25-year survey at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado. Russo is in the Denver Art Museum collection as well as many other private collections nationwide.  In addition to her studio practice, Russo is an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder and prior to her appointment at CU, she taught fine arts at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver for eighteen years. Russo is represented by the Harvey Preston Gallery in Aspen, Colorado.

 

MEL PATTERSON

Artist Statement: My work is created to capture the joy and beauty of the ocean. Bringing the beach indoors for all ocean lovers, and surfers to enjoy year round. 

Bio: An emerging Surf Artist who lives in San Diego, California, Mel has studied art since the age of 12, and received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Graphic Design. After working as a Graphic Designer for the last 15 years, she rediscovered her love for art in 2020. Mel started creating pieces to bring the beach indoors, while California beaches were closed during the pandemic. Mel’s love for the ocean, and beach-culture inspires all of her work. Ocean waves, tropical flowers, and sunsets are her favorite subject matters. Influenced by her interest in Japanese printmaking, she uses acrylic paint pens to achieve her intricate line work, and vibrant colors. Her work has been shown at the Huntington Beach Art Center’s, “Surfing the Pacific Rim” Exhibit, and the Escondido Municipal Gallery, Surfing Madonna Oceans Project’s, “Save the Ocean” Exhibit.

 

MERRIE OKIE

Artist Statement: Current environmental and societal issues have been my focus but relaying and conveying these sensitive issues with a sense of humor is my goal. I want you to feel an emotion from my moods, often based on my love of the ocean, our planet, and the celebration of humanity. I am honored to be a WILDCOAST Art Ambassador. 

Bio: Merrie Okie transforms her experiences into a painted world, combining fantasy, whimsical imagery, and reality. Wildly colorful and dense with imagery, her paintings have sold to collectors all over the world including restaurateur Jeremiah Towers, Seymour Knox of the Albright Knox Gallery, the Los Angeles City Hall Bridge Gallery, and her alma mater USC. She’s been shown in galleries in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Aspen, Santa Fe and the Salon Des Independences at the Grand Palais in Paris. She painted a 200-foot mural in downtown Los Angeles with the help of the local street gang Dogtown and had her art featured in the indie film When the Party’s Over.

 

MICHAEL DAVIS

Artist StatementThe artwork entitled, Ice & Oil, Night, is a small study for a series of larger pastels addressing environmental disasters on land and in the ocean. Many of these incidents are off the radar and don’t surface in mainstream media. The pastel drawings and much of my larger artworks focus on the exploration of natural resources at the expense of our planet.

Bio:  Artist Michael Davis maintains a studio in San Pedro, California. He has exhibited in over thirty-five solo and seventy group exhibitions and has created over fifty public art installations in the U.S. and abroad for museums and galleries and city, state and federal arts agencies. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Hand Hollow Arts Fellowship, and an AIA Award of Excellence. He is currently active on the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Art Advisory Committee and is on the Advisory Board for the Kleefeld Contemporary Museum, CSU Long Beach. He is a regular guest lecturer and seminar presenter and spoke recently on Pacific Standard Time for the Fellows of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles. 

 

MIKE PINETTE

Artist Statement: There’s a lot that the ocean represents for me. The hypnotic pulse that moves energy to every edge of the earth where it meets land has always fascinated me and brought me a sense of peace. Looking at the vastness has been keeping me and my problems small since always. It not only creates our coastal landscapes and carves into earth with its pulses, but it creates the opportunity for all of us to live and breathe. It’s deep and mysterious while being familiar. Looking at the ocean is looking at something that most of my ancestors have witnessed which connects me to my history and the world that gets to witness it for many years after I’m gone. I revere and respect it for everything it has offered and I am grateful to help protect by supporting organizations like WILDCOAST.

Bio: Mike Pinette creates masterful works of art by putting pen to paper. Lines and dots become epic landscapes and portraits of the natural world. Since he was a child he was enthralled by nature, mesmerized by the patterns in leaves, the blooming of flowers, the rhythm of the waves. He creates in order to remind people of their innate connection to our wild earth. He completed art residencies in Central and South America and has collaborated with non-profits that protect this land we all call home. Every piece plays with the elements. Earth, water, fire and air all expertly woven. You can see the influence of Central and South American culture interlaced throughout his collection. Plants and animals from countries that are rich in history and stories. Within each artwork there is an uncanny movement created in the way he wields the lines and dots on the blank paper. As you look upon his pieces they seem to sway and breathe, captivating and peaceful all at once. Every piece is vividly alive.

 

PAM BEVERLY QUIGLEY

Artist Statement: This triptych of an abstracted ocean scape is intended to evoke a feeling of the moment a storm begins to break up—the water calms, the cloud’s part and our spirit is lifted. Through abstraction this piece seeks to speak to the viewer about life’s’ metaphorical storms—as torrential or threatening as they may appear—they eventually pass. 

Bio: Pamela Beverly-Quigley started with the Artnauts in 1996. She developed her visual voice while earning a BFA in printmaking from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her screen prints, mono-prints and experimental pieces involved layering of hand drawn imagery on nonconventional substrates such as steel and fabric that resulted in large artwork panels and installations. During her graduate studies she began layering photography and digital processes into her printmaking. Her most recent body of work is a continuation of this journey as she works in mixed media incorporating oil painting, photography, drawing and ephemera into her paintings. Layers are intentionally revealed or obscured in order to convey the feeling of the abstracted quality of memory and time. 

Beverly-Quigley continues to exhibit her work both nationally and internationally. She has taught art and design at The University of Colorado—Boulder, Weber State University—Utah and has been an invited guest lecturer at academic institutions including The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications including The Lure of the Local by renowned writer and art critic—Lucy Lippard.

 

REBECCA DIDOMENICO

Artist Statement: I am interested in unexpected relationships, the way a spider web mimics a wheel, the commonality between Dr. Seuss and the Dali Lama, the resemblance between patterns in the constellations of the stars and the minute particles inside the human body.

Bio: Born in Greenbrae, California, Rebecca DiDomenico attended school at Claremont College, Tribhuvan University in Nepal and graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in English Literature. In DiDomenico’s world, there is no separation between art and life, studio and home. Her work is concerned with the collision and interpenetration of various forms of nature, mythology, art history and metaphysics.  With her innate, relentless curiosity, DiDomenico casts the net of her imagination wide.  

 

ROBIN PIPER

Artist Statement: Teaming up with WILDCOAST has been a perfect opportunity to align my love of art with my passion for protecting the ocean.

Bio: Robin Piper, APCC, was born into a family full of artists on the Southern Coast of California; as a result, Piper has lived a vibrant life full of ocean exploration and artistic self-expression. These two fundamental elements naturally splash over influencing one another, as life inspires art and art inspires environmental action. Piper prides himself on using his visual metaphors to raise awareness around social, political, and environmental concerns. Piper is a modern Renaissance man. For over 25 years, he has cultivated and mastered a variety of creative professional fields; from fine art gallery exhibits, murals and live art to graphic design, circus arts, teaching and Art Therapy. He channels these multidisciplinary skills towards advocacy for mental health, social justice, and environmental issues by providing art therapy to youth experiencing homelessness, teaching art to under-resourced communities, and making art as activism. Regardless of the medium Piper, unanimously hopes to leave his viewers contemplative, self-empowered, and inspired.

 

ROSANNE MORRIS

Artist Statement: I hope my work will inspire others to appreciate and protect nature. Much of my work resonates with “Miksang,” a Tibetan word which means “good eye."

Bio: Rosanne is an emerging Canadian artist who made a connection with WILDCOAST while releasing Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings with her family at a biology station on Playa Morro Ayuta on the coast of Oaxaca in 2020. Learning of the good work being done by the folks at WILDCOAST, Rosanne returned home inspired to create photography-based, abstract digital paintings that reflect the importance of protecting the pristine Oaxacan Pacific coastline. Her photographs are adjusted digitally, reimagined and are painted to create something new. She is also President of a non-profit organization www.focusonnature.ca whose mission is “to inspire kids to connect with nature through photography.” 

 

SILVESTRE MIRANDA

Artist Statement: Staying in balance with our natural surroundings is essential to its and our own survival, and for future generations. It is our duty as citizens of this globe to maintain and protect it.

Bio: Born and raised in Tijuana, México, Silvestre Miranda began painting and drawing at a young age and then graduated from Iberoamericana University as a graphic designer. His main focus is primarily oil painting; experimenting with distortion effects, such as water views, and pixelated art. His work can be found in galleries in Tijuana, Rosarito, Tecate, Mexicali; ICBC, Casas de Cultura, CEART, Distrito 10, and Universities UABC, IBERO, Casa del Tunel Art Center, among others.

 

SOFÍA GÓMEZ

Artist Statement: I am a former WILDCOAST/COSTASALVAJE employee. I am ocean minded and  ocean conservationist. My art is mostly inspired by Nature and by the sea.

Bio:  Sofia Gomez, a former team member of WILDCOAST/COSTASALVAJE, lives in the East Cape Region of Baja California Sur. She is an oceanographer and this profession has allowed her to have a close relation with the ocean and its ecosystems, her greatest sources of inspiration. She  loves watercolors, grafito pencils and color pencils.  What she hopes to accomplish with her art is connect people to the ocean, its wonders and the urgent need to conserve them.  

Even though I have been drawing and painting since early ages I consider myself an emerging artist. I am an  oceanographer, this profession has allowed me to have a close relation with the ocean and its  ecosystems, my greatest inspiration. I love watercolors, grafito pencils and color pencils.  What I hope to accomplish with my art is connect people to the ocean, its wonders and the  urgent need to conserve them.  

 

STEFANIE BALES

Artist Statement: The coastal geographies of Southern California are one of my primary sources of inspiration for the work that I create—preserving and protecting them is pivotal. WILDCOAST’S mission is paramount.

Bio: Stefanie Bales is a San Diego-based contemporary, fine art painter and muralist. Stefanie taught at a local design college for over 10 years prior to opening her gallery + storefront, Stefanie Bales Fine Art, in the heart of Little Italy. 

Stefanie's gallery work is inspired by the interaction of light and landscape, as evident in her whimsical typologies and soft, feminine palettes. Her mural work spans across genres and processes but still maintains the overtly warm, feminine, dreamlike, identity of her Fine Art work.

Stefanie’s client list includes the City of San Diego, The Balboa Park Conservancy, The San Diego Museum of Art, Ansun BioPharma, The Estancia La Jolla Hotel, One Paseo, and The Flower Hill Promenade. Her gallery was recently awarded “Best of San Diego'', by Modern Luxury Magazine, and her work has been published extensively and is in both public and private collections across the country and internationally.

 

TROY BRAJKOVICH  

Artist Statement: Nature is the source of my inspiration. At the end of the day, a diverse and healthy environment is the most important thing we have, and we’re destroying it. We need to come together to protect Earth any and every way possible?  I am honored to give my work back to the source in support of this mission.

Bio: Troy grew up on the rugged and rural central coast of California, where the core surf culture was immersed in the staggering beauty of the landscapes. It was this powerful intersection of sub-culture and setting that inspired early obsession with photography. Troy’s love for traveling and exotic experiences have taken him to more than 20 countries and each have contributed to the development of his understanding of humanity and nature as subjects of visual art. He works as a director, cinematographer, editor, and photographer.

 

ZACH JOHNSTON

Artist Statement: Whenever I go in the ocean everything slows down and I can just think and be. The ocean does a lot for me, and so I try to contribute back by taking care of it. WILDCOAST does amazing work protecting our oceans, and I believe in what they do. Anything I can to help protect our oceans and beaches — I’m in.

Bio: A California native, Zach has been photographing the natural world with a focus on surf photography for the past five years. His work has been featured in several shows. He resides in Oceanside California where he likes to shoot and surf.  

 

ZEMINA ZAFERAKIS

Artist Statement: I am very passionate about creating and sharing how I see the world through my eyes and how I feel it in my soul. WILDCOAST stands behind so much of what I believe in—working together to conserve our beautiful coastlines, helping our marine life, and creating solutions for our climate crisis. 

Bio: Being a San Diego native as well as a UCSB graduate, Zemina has always had a strong draw to the ocean and creating art. She is a self-taught artist and creative director for her company she created 11 years ago, Z Bella Photography. She specializes in underwater artistic photography as well as above water. Currently taking on commissioned fine art pieces, she also works in commercial as well as lifestyle photography. Based out of Carlsbad, CA and living with her husband and two littles, Zemina also loves to travel for work whenever she can.