Internationally renowned marine wildlife artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey will be signing copies of his highly acclaimed illustrated book, “Santiago’s Finest Hour” and his new book “10,000 Chicken Sandwiches – The Story of My Fishing Family, Jamaica 1956-1986” at the Key West Museum of Art and History on June 4, 2023, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Books and art prints will be available for purchase and Harvey will be available for meet-and-greets as well as photo opportunities.
In “Santiago’s Finest Hour” Guy Harvey draws inspiration from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” a novel that earned Hemingway the Nobel Prize in Literature. Through his pen-and-ink illustrations, Harvey has captured key moments from the novel about an aging Cuban fisherman named Santiago and his struggle to catch an enormous marlin in the Florida Straits. Fifty-nine of Harvey’s sketches appear with excerpts from Hemingway’s 1952 classic, giving new life to the exhausted old man and his surroundings.
Harvey, who grew up in Jamaica, began drawing Hemingway’s story in 1973 while studying marine biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland. In 1985, he displayed a series of forty-four original pen-and-ink drawings at an exhibit in Jamaica that depicted the famous fishing story. Based on the positive response he received at the exhibition, he began painting full time and by 1988 was providing custom artwork for use on a variety of products.
Harvey began to travel the world to gain more knowledge of the habits and activities of marine wildlife and became an avid scuba diver and skilled underwater photographer. A passion for the beauty and wonder of the underwater world has driven Harvey to be a leading conservationist and advocate for the protection of our environment. The Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University and The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation have taken on a leadership role in providing the scientific information necessary to understand and protect the world’s fish resources and biodiversity from continued decline.
In addition to the book signing, Monroe County families are invited to take a free guided tour of the “Depicting Hemingway” exhibition of Harvey’s original works as part of the museum’s popular Community Day program. They are also encouraged to join the education department on the porch for a free marine art project. Led by educator Kassandra Collett, families will have an opportunity to merge art and science by creating their own Gyotaku prints. Much like Harvey’s paintings of marine life, this form of Japanese printmaking has enabled fishermen to document various species and size of their catch. These records have provided marine scientists with detailed information about conservation efforts that are essential for the future of our oceans.