The HeART of Turtles
The St. Croix Walls Project has produced a unique public art installation that they hope will put St. Croix on the map of the international art scene, The HeART of Turtles. Similar to the giant apples that were installed in New York, and the blue horses you can find on Aruba, turtle sculptures will be installed at locations across the island for public enjoyment. These turtles were created from locally salvaged materials and painted by local artists. Watch this slide show to see how the turtles took shape, come see them 'hatch', and read more in our The HeART of Turtles blog.
It’s pretty safe to say that everyone loves sea turtles. Here on St. Croix there are many conservation efforts being made to track the different species nesting areas and habitats to gain…
Chris Lima is the creator of these wonderful wooden turtle sculptures. Chris is also the proud owner of Repurposed, a local business whose mission is to try and keep as much out of the landfill as possible. To achieve this mission, Chris takes things that are being discarded and either fixes them or gives them a brand new life by turning them into something else.
Chris builds his repurposed creations with scrap materials including pallets, barrels, and discarded furniture. Then, his wife Sarah adds her artistic touch with either wood burning or paint to give the repurposed creations an extra special touch for their new life.
Sarah is a physician assistant, but has a passion for art and finds it therapeutic in her off time. She enjoys drawing with pencil which is what lead her to wood burning with a similar contrast of black and white. But she also loves a pop of color which is what lead her to using acrylics, which also works better on darker woods where a wood burning would not be visualized as well. The fact that she likes to use wood as a medium makes a great relationship with husband, Chris Lima, who is the wood worker of these beautiful turtles.
Lyn grew up on St. Croix from the age of four and was taught by several notable Crucian artists. She later studied sculpture, photography, and printmaking in New York, Florida, and Florence Italy. Lyn obtained a degree in Imaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology and had a career in computer photo editing and digital prepress. Her work is shown locally at many annual art venues, including solo exhibitions at Art @ Top Hat and the Henle Gallery. Lyn is a charter member of the St. Croix Artists Guild, and her medium is media depicted on canvas, either as photo-edit original to Giclée print or as acrylic paintings. She loves capturing and enhancing everyday scenes using ultra vibrant Caribbean colors, rich texturing, and an impressionistic style.
A multi-medium aging artist, Elizabeth retired from Florida to live on the beach in Frederiksted. She is delighted with the island’s historic architecture, sunny skies, blue seas, and wonderful reefs for her days are full of painting, diving and snorkeling. Although she primarily paints in watercolors, she occasionally adds acrylics and water soluble oil paints to the palette. She has painted several murals around town, paints weekly en plein air at different island locations, and also works in her studio.
Cathy ‘s first career was in art education. She taught art at an elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland for most of her career. She worked with many artists in residence, attended numerous Maryland Artist/Teacher Institutes, partnered with the arts education department at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and presented on arts integration implementation at conferences in Boston, New York, and Beijing, China. Upon retiring and moving to St Croix she began her second career as a visual artist. Cathy’s love of patterns and bright colors is reflected in her work. Her focus has been on whimsical representations of sea life. She re-purposes vinyl records into bowls and clocks with colored pencil graphics, creates mosaics using tile and glass, and colored pencil drawings on Bristol board. Cathy has exhibited her work at The Blue Mutt, Top Hat Gallery, and The Maufe Gallery in Christiansted. She currently has work for sale at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted and Iona Skye Gallery in Christiansted.
Becky has always had a creative eye for using unique mediums. While living on St.Croix she was inspired by the Calabash Tree. Her free style of Mandala Dot Art using bright colors gives way to a window in her soul. The love of sharing herself in each piece brings joy both to her and to others.
Project Promise is dedicated to bringing about positive change in our world, starting right here on St. Croix! Their goal is to give at-risk youth the tools and support they need to live healthier happier lives. By enhancing their decision-making and conflict resolution skills, and enabling them to discover their vocational interests, they will ultimately integrate them into society and our economy.
To truly make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth multiple issues must be addressed simultaneously. Project Promise, a Virgin Islands 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, takes a holistic approach that supports and empowers the whole child. From life coaching and personal wellness to academic tutoring, community service, cultural programs, family services and more, Project Promise gives St. Croix’ at-risk youth an opportunity for positive change in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment, by introducing them to our natural resources, our history and culture, and our most valuable resource, themselves.
Jr Scientists in the Sea
The Jr Scientists in the Sea (JSIS) is the only year-round science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics (STEAM) program, involving SCUBA, that collaborates with Universities and Aquariums. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, reaching out to students with a passion for marine and Earth science, humanities, scuba diving, engineering, and research service learning through exciting, place-based, hands-on activities. The program engages young in intellectual and physical activities as they develop responsibility and accountability mindsets. Participants learn what it takes to explore the ocean as well as what role they can play in maintaining it.
The goal is to create new divers, scientists, and engineers who possess the passion and skills to not only enjoy the ocean, but work to protect it. JSIS is designed to expose kids to a meaningful, educational program combined with on-the-job training, hard work, and opportunities to solve real-world problems right in their own backyards. The new experiences, new places, new people, and new approach will create new hope, new ideas, and new attitudes. Instead of choosing from well-traveled, often-overcrowded trails, JSIS is blazing new ones. The intention is to help our youngest citizens create their futures through exposure to STEAM concepts as well as marine science and technology content through activities which require critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving, all under the guidance of experienced educational leaders and professionals in STEAM fields.
JSIS teaches diving physiology, diving physics, equipment safety and usage. Participants have the opportunity to earn their Scuba Diver (or Jr. Scuba Diver) certification after completing all classroom, contained water, open-water, and final examination requirements. Participants may choose to continue their diving education by taking First Aid and CPR classes, diving specialty classes, and pursuing their Advanced Diver/Jr. Advanced Diver certification. Plus, students learn American Academy of Underwater Sciences scientific diving and research techniques. Trained dive professionals, scientists, and teachers supervise each phase of the JSIS program. Jr Scientists learn science, ecology, place-based aquatics, and environmental awareness by participating in the following activities:
- Coral Reef Surveys, Propagation, and Restoration Initiatives
- Fish and Invertebrate Identification and Surveys
- Researching and Locating Invasive Species
- Maritime Heritage and Underwater Archaeology Activities
- Safe Boating and Navigation Classes
- Public Speaking, Communications, and Writing for a Purpose Workshops