Jacques Cousteau may have gained a certain degree of celebrity with his underwater adventures, but he never managed to transform that fame into a marketable enterprise. Sure, he has been immortalized by bad impressionists the world over, including the narrator on SpongeBob SquarePants. Who can forget that hypnotic French-accented voice? But where are the posters? The T-shirts? Even, dare we say it, the Jacques Cousteau action figures?
Unlike his predecessor in the world of marine conservation, Guy Harvey has taken his passion and turned it into merchandising. The man's signature has become ubiquitous in apparel, artwork, computer screen savers, and various other gift ideas brought to you just in time for the holidays. Of course, it wasn't always that way. The Guy Harvey cottage industry reared its pastel, seascaped head only after Harvey had proven himself to be the underwater adventurer so played up in his image.
Guy Harvey -- artist, professor, scientist, conservationist, diver, fisherman, all-around seagoing wunderkind, and creator of the left-handed spoon. OK, we made that last one up. But the rest of it is impressive enough, and it's all true. The native of Jamaica nabbed his Ph.D at the University of the West Indies and became a professor of marine biology. Not satisfied with academia, he took up diving and underwater photography. Harvey broke ground with his studies of the billfish before advocating catch-and-release programs for that and other game fish. His conservation efforts proved so effective that Dania Beach's International Game Fish Association awarded him with its first lifetime achievement award in 1999; that was only the latest in a string of awards the man has garnered for his artistic endeavors and oceanic advocacy.
Husky Products, 126 Center St., Jupiter
From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 6. Admission is free. Call 561-745-1005.
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For a while, Harvey spent his time traveling the world, observing marine species, and collecting awards. But he now dedicates himself primarily to artwork and the posters and T-shirts that feature said art. Although the man's listed residence is in Grand Cayman, he seems to be constantly roaming South Florida, putting in appearances at bookstores, charitable events, and nautical affairs to discuss his life's work, sign his books and artwork, and, yes, garner more awards.