SeaKeeper Artist of the Year

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.

Robert DuGrenier - 2022-23

Robert DuGrenier has been a glass artist, sculptor, and designer since the 1970's. His work has touched both traditional and experimental arenas of the glass world. DuGrenier has created high-end installations for museum and architectural projects around the world, beginning in New York City by working on the redesign of the flame for the Statue of Liberty and commissioned to create and produce the 1/12th scale model from which the French artisans sculpted the new flame. He has always been interested in exploring the intersection of art and science.

For twenty-plus years, DuGrenier has been creating glass homes for hermit crabs to live in - a result of seeing a hermit crab living in the neck of a broken Coca-Cola bottle walk across my towel in the Bahamas. “The fact that it was living in litter that humans had left behind, perhaps while out “shelling” and stealing their potential homes,” says DuGrenier. “Spurred me on to create glass shells that are suitable habitats for hermit crabs.” He has sent glass shells to aquariums, classrooms, and private homes all around the world. A marine biologist at Dartmouth College discovered them and has been using them for his research into the communication processes of terrestrial hermit crabs.

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History of DISCOVERY Art

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:

  • 2020/21 – Kelly Quinn
  • 2019 – Amos Nachoum, 2019 SeaKeeper of the Year (photography)
  • 2018 – Gustavo Oviedo
  • 2017 – Xavier Cortada
  • 2015/16 – Courtney Mattison
  • 2014 – Herman Moscoso

The following are partners who may have SeaKeepers Drifter Art on display at their locations in the boat shows and also in their offices throughout the year.