known simply as Wyland
, is an artist best known for painting large, outdoor mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...
s of whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...
s and other ocean life.
Wyland was born in Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...
. He grew up in Madison Heights
Madison Heights is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, its population was 29,694.- History :...
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....
and attended Lamphere High School, where his 25th "whaling wall" is in the pool area of the high school. His parents Darlene Wyland and Bob Wyland divorced when he was four. He has three brothers, Steve, Bill, and Tom.
Renowned marine life artist Wyland changed the way people think about our environment when he started painting life-size whales on the sides of buildings in the 1980s. Wyland always thought big. And he never stopped.
Today, the Wyland name has become synonymous with the new generation of awareness about environmental conservation. Through his unique marine life paintings, sculptures, and photography, Wyland has inspired a generation about the importance of marine life conservation. His life – like his art – can find him anywhere around the world, at any time, from the Antarctic ice shelf on a photo expedition to document climate change to a grassroots journey down the Mississippi River on a mission of conservation.
The multi-faceted artist, scuba diver, educator, and explorer has hosted several television programs, including, “Wyland’s Ocean World” series on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet Network, “Wyland: A Brush With Giants” and “Wyland’s Art Studio,” a series for national public television. His mission of engaging people through nature-themed art and a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has led to strategic alliances with such notable organizations as the United States Olympic Team, United Nation Environment Program, and Walt Disney Studios, to name a few.
Wyland’s 100th and final Monumental Marine Life Mural, Hands Across the Oceans, a 24,000-square-foot, half-mile-long series of canvas murals with student artists from 110 countries, was displayed in October 2008 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and honored by the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. In May 2010, the United Nations released six Wyland images for an international stamp issue celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
Founded by renowned environmental artist Wyland, the Wyland Foundation has helped children and families around the nation to rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways through public art programs, classroom science education, and live events. The foundation gives children the tools they need to become more creative, positive, and solution-oriented. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has worked directly with more than one million children since its inception in 1993.
In 2007, the artist (along with science educators and volunteers) conducted a national tour for clean water, themed, "From Pike's Peak to the Chesapeake Bay — Every Drop Counts," to raise awareness through art and science about protecting watersheds nationwide. Activities include water quality testing at rivers, bays and lakes, a pledge drive to reduce water waste, mural painting with children, life-size mazes about water conservation and a 1000 square feet (92.9 m²) clean water learning center on wheels, featuring exhibits about the future of river management, lake regions, estuaries, and wetlands.
As a child, Wyland started to have interest in painting dinosaurs and jurassic beings. He became an artist at the age of 3. One of the people who influenced Wyland was Captain Jacques Cousteau. Wyland (as a child) also wanted to be a scientist wanting to study marine life just like Captain Cousteau, which he is also doing today. Captain Cousteau is still the main influence in Wyland’s belief in caring for the environment. Wyland first encountered the adoration of whales when he saw a TV show hosted by Captain Cousteau about whales.
Wyland currently lives in California, Hawaii, and Florida when he is not traveling.