Local students from various schools in Grand Cayman attended an artprogram hosted by Divetech at Cobalt Coast Resort on July 25 and 26th asa part of the annual Kids Sea Camp Outreach program. The 18 participating students each painted a canvas guided by visiting marine artist Ron Steven, more commonly known as "Rogest". Friday July 29th the Cayman Butterfly Farm was the scene of the art auction, whereby all paintings were sold to parents and the business community raising a total of $1465. Sponsors to the event included Rogest, Kids Sea Camp, Boatswains Beach, ScubaPro, The National Gallery, The Butterfly Farm, Cobalt Coast Resort, Celebrations and Divetech.
The funds raised were donated to the Department of the Environment's Turtle Satellite tracking program and the National Trust's Coral Reef Exploration for children program. The students all worked hard, learned about painting and had fun over 2 days to create their own unique piece of marine art. One of the paintings of a turtle, created by Mikhail Campbell, age 17 of the Cayman Boy Scouts was sold for $600. to Boatswain's Beach. This painting will be used to create a poster for the promotion of Cayman culture, art and marine appreciation. The poster will be created by Ron Steven and available at the October Diving Equipment and Marketing Show (DEMA) in Las Vegas, and well as other Boatswains Beach promotional activities. Other participating students were Elmer Wright, John Smith, Joshua Pars, Nathaniel Pearson, Stephen Walton, Andre Dandie, Darron Porter, Samantha Grundy, Whitney Foster, Equechie Montoya, Donald Green, Jason Dawson, Anthony Berry, Graysen Dawson, Mathias Barnett, Jeffrey Wilson and Shaquille Bush.
Through education and art these students have helped better the environment and deserve a well earned round of applause for their participation and efforts. Rogest engaged the students in discussions of the habitat & species diversity as well as the aboriginal art culture of Australia. Students researched a marine organism of their choice and with the assistance of Rogest, created a painting of their chosen organism in the Australian Aboriginal style of dot painting. Students learned about marine ecology, sustainability and population diversity; aboriginal traditions, beliefs and customs; acrylic painting skills and techniques as well as have the opportunity to have their work contribute to the marine environment.
The National Trust is very grateful to everyone involved in this project, particularly Ron and the children who created the wonderful paintings. We hope our reef exploration program will continue to enhance children's appreciation and awareness of the marine environment.
"This year the Department of the Environment will be releasing 3 turtles with satellite tracking capability. The funds raised will help to sponsor one of the turtles that will be named "Rogest", in recognition of the work done by Ron in creating the program and involving the local kids in it also. Our turtles can be tracked on-line at www.seaturtle.org/tracking/cayman " stated Joni Solomon of the Department of the Environment.
Casandra Hibbert of the new Boatswain's Beach development said "We were proud to be a sponsor of this program, it was fun and the kids learned a lot. Cayman Turtle Farm/ Boatswain's Beach recognizes the importance of these programs that educate kids on our marine environment and we look forward to supporting an even bigger and better Kids Sea Camp next year".