DISCOVERY Art encourages public awareness about ocean conservation through the eyes of artists who are inspired by elements of marine life, the ocean, and sustainability. SeaKeepers selects a featured artist whose work is reflected on collateral materials in connection with our signature annual awards event. Awards presented at the event are created by the artist to honor outstanding leadership in marine conservation and research and recognize the DISCOVERY Yacht Fleet, yacht owners, and captains who have supported SeaKeepers programming throughout the year.
Miami-based artist Lauren Shapiro transforms ceramic art into compelling pieces of environmental advocacy. Her devotion to exploring the natural world and underlining the importance of sustainability radiates through her creations, inspiring and challenging viewers to reflect on our shared responsibility towards the planet.
A Master of Fine Arts graduate in ceramics and sculpture from the University of Miami, Shapiro intricately weaves elements of the sublime found in nature into her artwork. Her pieces masterfully balance strength and fragility, reflecting profoundly on our environment's vulnerability.
Shapiro's work is grounded in a multidisciplinary methodology. She enriches her practice with diverse perspectives by collaborating with scientists, architects, and filmmakers. Her art breathes life into data captured from 3D scans of underwater ecological systems, showcasing the intricate dynamics of nature's patterns and tipping points.
In her hands, clay morphs into a medium for environmental storytelling. She meticulously constructs bas-relief and modular sculptures, expertly blending geometric mineral shapes with organic forms to craft replicas of plant life and coral structures. Her creations subtly echo the grandeur of classical architecture and the delicate complexities of found natural forms.
Public engagement also plays a pivotal role in her work. Her large-scale installations, built with community participation, become symbols of nature's constant flux and impermanence. This collaborative process adds another layer to her work, emphasizing the shared responsibility in nurturing and preserving our planet.
DISCOVERY Art started in 2013 with the launch of the SeaKeepers Drifters program which deployed drifter devices from yachts to collect ocean data for research at The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As a way of engaging the public (beyond direct participants in the Drifter Program) drifter shells which did not contain the hardware for data collection but were simply hollow spheres, were painted and embellished by local artists and displayed at various SeaKeepers events, boat shows, marinas, yacht management, and charter offices. The placement of these decorated shells sparked interest and awareness about ocean conservation issues and were accompanied by SeaKeepers program materials . Further engagement from the artistic community emerged with select artists providing their creative power to create leadership and acknowledgement awards for special events. Since inception the program has been able to showcase six artists as SeaKeeper Artists of the Year: