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Ocean, Otters, Oil Print

Gregg Chadwick

United States

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About The Artwork

On walks along California's Central Coast, I often stop and peer into the swirling mix of seaweed and surf looking for the telltale bob of a sea otter as it breaks to the surface. The tap, tap, tap of otters cracking shells across rocks carried on their chests as they float on their backs in the kelp filled water also gives away their location. Sea otters are voracious eaters, clearing coastal seabeds of purple sea urchins that would otherwise decimate the growing kelp forests. By keeping the purple urchin population down, sea otters remove kelp's major nemesis. Sea urchins feed on the holdfasts that keep kelp anchored to the bottom of the ocean. Sea otters feed on the purple sea urchins that devour kelp forests. When the sea otter population collapsed after centuries of being hunted for their furs, the entire ecosystem of the Monterey Bay shifted. The bay's giant kelp forests disappeared and along with it most of the sea life that they supported and protected. Matt Simon in Wired's November 4, 2021 article on sea otters explains that, "Keeping the urchin population in check preserves the kelp, which is vital for the ecosystem in two main ways. First, the forest is a habitat for fish, which are the food source for birds and other marine mammals, like sea lions. Second, the seaweed is part of what scientists call a blue carbon ecosystem, meaning a coastal or marine area that sequesters carbon." To get even closer to sea otters, I love to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their sea otter information and exhibition space. The Monterey Bay Aquarium describes sea otters as aquatic environmentalists: "By munching on urchins, they help kelp forests flourish, and by crunching on crabs, they promote eelgrass in estuaries. But this marine mammal is endangered — and needs our help." The sea otter population along the Central California Coast has rebounded after being feared extinct early in the 20th Century. But a family of resilient sea otters were found near Bixby Bridge in 1938. Due to strong conservation efforts, California's sea otter population has slowly grown to the current number of around 3,000. A combination of legal protection — in 1977 sea otters became protected under the Endangered Species Act — and the efforts of nongovernmental organizations have prompted the sea otter resurgence. But the sea otter's future is still at great risk. Oil spreading south from a single tanker spill near San Francisco or off the pristine Central Coast would threaten the entire California sea otter population. With the recent oil spill in Southern California off Huntington Beach in October 2021, I was reminded how vulnerable our coastal ecosystem is to oil spills and climate change. Coast Guard officials determined that the spill came from a leak in a pipeline owned by Houston-based Amplify Energy that shuttles crude from offshore platforms to the shore. In response to this latest environmental emergency, I created my painting "Ocean, Otters, Oil."

Details & Dimensions

Print:Giclee on Canvas

Size:16 W x 16 H x 1.25 D in

Size with Frame:17.75 W x 17.75 H x 1.25 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

GREGG CHADWICK creates his artwork in an old airplane hangar in Santa Monica, California. The recurring sound of airplane take-offs and landings from the active airport runway outside his studio reminds him of his own history of travel. Chadwick has exhibited his artworks in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. He earned a Bachelor's Degree at UCLA and a Master’s Degree at NYU, both in Fine Art. Chadwick has had notable solo exhibitions at the Manifesta Maastricht Gallery (Maastricht, The Netherlands), Space AD 2000 (Tokyo, Japan), the Lisa Coscino Gallery (Pacific Grove, CA), the Julie Nester Gallery (Park City, Utah), the Sandra Lee Gallery (San Francisco), and Audis Husar Fine Arts (Los Angeles) among others. Chadwick has participated in over one hundred group exhibitions including the L Ross Gallery (Memphis, Tenn), the Andrea Schwartz Gallery (San Francisco), the LOOK Gallery (Los Angeles), the Arena 1 Gallery (Santa Monica), the di Rosa Preserve Gallery (Napa) and the Arts Club of Washington (Washington DC). Chadwick’s art is notably included in the collections of the Adobe Corporation, the Gilpin Museum, the Graciela Hotel – Burbank, the Harbor Court Hotel - San Francisco; the Kimpton Group’s headquarters in San Francisco, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Nordstrom Company Headquarters, the UCLA School of Nursing, the W Hotel Hollywood, and Winona State University.
 Chadwick is frequently invited to lecture on the arts. He has spoken at UCLA, Monterey Peninsula College, the Esalen Institute, TRAC 2015, the World Views forum in Amsterdam - The Netherlands, and at Categorically Not - a monthly forum that considers the arts and science. Twice a year he delivers a lecture on art and social justice at UCLA in an interdisciplinary form with the UCLA School of Nursing. Chadwick was a working artist in residence at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles leading students at Culver City High School in an exploration of Dael Orlandersmith’s “Until the Flood.” Chadwick is the proud father of his transgender daughter Cassiel Chadwick.. 
 Chadwick’s blog, Speed of Life, explores the intersections between the arts and society and was honored by Carnegie Hall as one of the Top 16 Art Blogs in the country:  Speed of Life. 
 Chadwick’s flickr page which is often updated with new finished paintings and work in progress is at:

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