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Exhibits: 20th Anniversary

Art Exhibits

In celebration of its twentieth anniversary, the Aquarium will display rotating art exhibits on the second floor in the Great Hall.

The first art exhibit will feature five original pieces by Brian Kesinger, the Official Artist of the 20th Anniversary. Later in the year, the Aquarium will display an art quilt created by charter volunteer Leah Young commemorating the twentieth anniversary, winners of an art contest celebrating the anniversary presented by JetBlue, and artwork by participants in past Night Dive events.

Painting of otter swimming on its back - popup
Ariel Hill

20th Anniversary Art Contest Winners: December 15, 2018 - February 15, 2019

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Aquarium held an art contest presented by JetBlue throughout the summer of 2018. The contest was open to paintings, drawings, prints, digital/new media, and photography relating to the Aquarium’s history, accomplishments, animals or programs and had more than one hundred submissions. The top twenty entrants were selected to win a round-trip flight on JetBlue.

The winning entries include representations of the Aquarium’s iconic animals, including sea jellies, sea otters, octopuses, and even the blue whale model that hangs in the Great Hall. Winning entries also included depictions of the Aquarium building and a sculpture of a shark modeled after a JetBlue airliner. The winners are 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.

These top twenty winning entries will be on view at the Aquarium in an exhibit on the second floor of the Great Hall starting December 15, 2018.

20th anniversary quilt square featuring penguins - popup
One square from the art quilt celebrating the Aquarium's 20th anniversary shows two of the Aquarium's Magellanic penguins.

Anniversary Quilt: September 15 - December 15, 2018

A 4-foot-by-5-foot art quilt designed and made by Aquarium volunteer Leah Young is now on view on the second floor in the Aquarium’s Great Hall. The quilt is made up of twenty squares, each representing an Aquarium animal. It features several decorative techniques, including piecing, applique, hand embroidery, and fabric painting. Young is a charter volunteer who has worked in several departments at the Aquarium over the past twenty years. Currently she works in the husbandry department, oversees the Aquarium’s Speakers Bureau and Booth Program, which conducts outreach throughout Southern California, and helps with special events like parades, wetlands clean-ups, and community festivals. She has been quilting since 2004.

Brian Kesinger Octopus Poster
Brian Kesinger Octopus Poster

Brian Kesinger: May 25-September 2, 2018

Brian Kesinger, the Official Artist of the 20th Anniversary, is an award-winning story artist, author, and illustrator whose 20-year career at Disney spanned both hand-drawn and CG animated films. He is a longtime Aquarium fan and member who has also created a series of books about a character named Victoria and her octopus friend, Otto.

Our gift store will be featuring his set of four limited-edition pins featuring charter animals from the Aquarium. Prints of Kesinger’s exhibiting artwork will also be available for purchase.