Tre' Packard/PangeaSeed

Many people might struggle to use the word 'artivism' in a sentence, but for Tre' Packard, the founder and managing director of PangeaSeed, a Hawaii-based non-profit using art to raise awareness around environmental issues, it's a word that comes in handy.

Packard told Fusion in an email that PangeaSeed's recent "mural festival" on the Caribbean island of Cozumel, Mexico, was another step in the group's effort to "bring attention to the global plight of our oceans through artivism."

What is artivism exactly? According to Pangeaseed's definition, it's the convergence of public art and activism, which Packard said the group is using to foster "a new breed of conservation through sustainability, education, ecology and design."

In Cozumel, they did this with the Sea Walls: Murals For Oceans project, an event that took place in mid-July, a period during which a group of artists painted 35 large-scale public murals throughout Cozumel's town center. A 250-square-mile island located off Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Cozumel has a population of about 1,000. It is threatened by sea level rise, and a number of important species inhabit the coastline.

"By bringing the oceans into the streets, the viewers are compelled to learn more, and contribute to a more ocean-friendly environment," said Packard.

Advertisement

The artists involved in the project included 12 from Mexico and 24 from 11 other countries. Their murals bring attention to topics including plastic pollution, sea turtle conservation, coastal development, overfishing, coral reef preservation, shark finning, oil development, and more.

Since 2009, Pangeaseed has hosted over 20 public art exhibitions in an effort to bring together elements of art, nature, and society for a public not always aware of what's at stake.

"At PangeaSeed, we deliver our message by means of positive, engaging and inspiring public art," said Packard. "As Jacques Cousteau famously said, 'people protect what they love.'"

Advertisement

And these murals are definitely loveable.

Murals by Alexis Diaz and Fintan Magree.
Nate Peracciny/PangeaSeed
Mural about coastal development by Christopher Konecki.
Gino Caballero/The Stills Agency

Advertisement

Mural about coastal development by Curiot.
Tre Packard/PangeaSeed
Mural about sea turtle conservation by Dherzu Uzala.
Gino Caballero/The Stills Agency
Mural by Hueman. Tribute to American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer, Dr. Sylvia Earle.
Tre Packard

Advertisement

Mural about overfishing by Jack Fox.
Tre Packard/PangeaSeed
Mural by Paola Delfin.
Gino Caballero/The Stills Agency
Mural by Zio Ziegler.
Tre Packard/PangeaSeed

Advertisement

Mural by Phlegm about destructive fishing practices.
Gino Caballero/The Stills Agency
Mural by Seher One about the native species of Cozumel.
Gino Caballero/The Stills Agency
Mural by Smithe on the relationship between the local people, the coral reefs, and the endemic marine species of the Yucatan peninsula.
Nate Peracciny/PangeaSeed

Advertisement

Mural by Tatiana Suarez on coral bleaching and acidification.
Dan Armand/PangeaSeed

The full list of participating artists included: Aaron Glasson (New Zealand), Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico), Amanda Lynn (USA), Bicicleta Sem Freio (Brazil), Caratoes (Hong Kong), Celeste Byers (USA), Christopher Konecki (USA), Colectivo La Quinta (Mexico), Cryptik (USA), Curiot (Mexico), CYH Jayson (Taiwan), Dherzu Uzala (Mexico), Ever (Argentina), Faith47 (South Africa), Fintan Magee (Australia), Honghikuri (Mexico), Hueman (USA), Ian Ross (USA), Jack Fox (South Africa), Jason Botkin (Canada), JAZ (Argentina), Jesús Benítez (Mexico), Kai'ili Kaulukukui (USA), Liz Rashell (Mexico), Meggs (Australia), Melhor (Mexico), Naturel (USA), NEWS (Mexico), Osel Paint Crew (Mexico), Paola Delfín (Mexico), Phlegm (UK), Seher One (Mexico), Tatiana Suarez (USA), The London Police (UK), Tristan Eaton (USA), Zio Ziegler (USA).