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Keep it Wild

Virtual Auction
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Benefits Wildcoast

On October 14, 2021, Wildcoast will kick off its 2nd Annual Keep it Wild Virtual Auction with ocean-inspired artwork from an international team of artists. All proceeds will support the nonprofit’s efforts to protect our coast and ocean and address climate change through natural solutions. Thirty artists from the USA and Mexico have pledged their support and contributed their artwork to the virtual auction as Wildcoast’s artist ambassadors.

Local San Diego artists include Aaron Chang, Marissa Quinn, Stefanie Bales, Zemina Zaferakis, Robin Piper, Mel Patterson, and live painter Clare Salisbury Ruf. Many of the artist ambassadors have returned for a second year including famed realist painter Eric Zener, surrealist painter Merrie Okie, Mexican-American painter Edwin Vasquez, and Tijuana-based painter Silvestre Miranda.

Merrie Okie, whose whimsical large format paintings have been purchased by collectors such as Jeremiah Tower, Seymour Knox of the Knox Albright Museum, and University of Southern California and exhibited in the Grand Palais in Paris, shares her passion for Wildcoast: “Current environmental and societal issues have been my focus but relaying and conveying these sensitive issues with a sense of humor is my goal. I want you to feel an emotion, based on my love of the ocean, our planet, and the celebration of humanity,” explains Okie. “I believe in Wildcoast’s mission and passion to make a difference and protect our oceans and coast.”

The Siren, Merrie Okie

Co-founded by conservationist and author Serge Dedina, PhD, Wildcoast celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The international conservation team, based in California and Mexico, establishes and manages protected areas, advances conservation policies, fights climate change, and engages communities in the protection and stewardship of healthy, thriving oceans, coastlines and wildlife.

From pristine coastlines, mangrove-ringed lagoons, and turquoise underwater preserves to gray whale sanctuaries, sea turtle nesting beaches and stunning coral reefs, Wildcoast works to conserve some of the most globally important coastal and marine ecosystems and ocean wildlife in the world.

On Thursday, October 14 at 5pm (PST), Wildcoast will host the Keep it Wild Art Auction Kickoff and Virtual Happy Hour on Zoom including an art preview, release of new wildlife videos, live painting, and Wildcoast team members live in the field.

Wildcoast will also be unveiling their Million Mangroves Mission, brought to life by local San Diego agency 62Above. Co-founded by Indra Gardiner Bowers and Jon Bailey, 62Above generously donated their services to the nonprofit because of their strong belief in its mission. “Our name, 62Above, reflects the precarious relationship we San Diegans have with the ocean. Being only 62 feet above sea level means we take ocean protection seriously,” says Bowers. “We are proud to support Wildcoast’s bi-national focus on coastal preservation.”

As part of their climate action strategy, Wildcoast has been planting and restoring mangroves in Baja as a natural climate solution. Mangrove forests are blue carbon ecosystems that absorb and store atmospheric carbon and greenhouse gases, an effective solution to the effects of climate change.

Anyone interested in a sneak preview of the art and learning more about Wildcoast’s conservation work can attend the free Virtual Happy Hour on Zoom on Thursday, October 14 at 5pm (PST) by registering for free here.