Artists help aquarium celebrate 20 years with upcoming exhibit

Leopard Shark by Denniz Nozawa. Courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific.

Painterly portraits of adorable otters, realistic renderings of leopard sharks, wondrous depictions of floating sea jellies, all will be on display starting this weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

They’re the top 20 works selected after a summer art contest put on by the aquarium resulted in more than 100 submissions being sent in, everything from paintings to photography to digital media, all in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

Artworks had to relate to aquarium history, animals, programs and accomplishments, according to the press material.

The exhibit will be on view starting Saturday, although getting in touch with the artists might prove to be difficult as the winners were awarded round-trip flights from JetBlue.

“We were very impressed and touched by the artists’ interpretations of the Aquarium’s animals, history, and significance, and the unique perspectives their artwork captured,” said Cecile Fisher, vice president of marketing and communications.

Chosen by a panel of aquarium staff members, the top 20 artworks selected are by artists Lena Bishop, Mandi Blanton, Dyroza Bun, Teresa Chehade, Carolina Contreras, David Early, Elke Goodno, Veronika Gorchkova, Julia Higgins, Ariel Hill, Khaliya Johnson, Margarita Nordanyan, Dennis Nozawa, Lauren Penney, Chelsea Pero, Ken Renk, Sheri Schneider, Amy Smith, Sara Vonepp, and Leslie Yee.

Images courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific.

On view through Feb. 15, aquarium visitors can check out the art on the second floor, between the entrances to the Northern Pacific and Tropical Pacific galleries. The aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Way. For more information and aquarium tickets, visit the website here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.