Living Seashore Spotlight: Muralist Jane Kim

Our newest exhibit, Living Seashore, invites guests to interact with the animals that share our seashore.

Published April 06, 2015

The experience in Living Seashore goes beyond the expected. By feeling the pulse of a moon jelly, coming face-to-face with an Atlantic stingray or taking in the artistic recreation of the Atlantic coast, visitors will hopefully come away with a greater connection to this thriving ecosystem! 

In developing this exhibit, our team reached out to artist Jane Kim of Ink Dwell, a San Francisco-based studio whose mission is to inspire people to love and protect the Earth one work of art at a time. After hearing some background on the exhibit, Kim designed three murals that depict both a progression through the coastal ecosystem and a progression of artistic styles. 

A New Look for the Atlantic Coast

Kim’s largest mural, the Diversity Wall, depicts the Gulf Current food chain. 

detail of mural

Starting in the top-left corner, a striped bass chases a fishing lure, while a school of Atlantic menhaden tries to escape demise, trapped between predators on the surface and the deep. A hungry eastern brown pelican dive-bombs for dinner from above, while little tunnys, Atlantic bonitos and a king mackerel corral the menhaden from below. 

As you move toward the center of the wall, you’ll see a pod of bottlenose dolphins, a group of cownose rays swimming through plankton and a giant hammerhead shark circling below. 

detail of mural

As we move into deeper waters, a loggerhead turtle and mola mola feasting on cannonball and moon jellies come into view. 

Three sets of blue ribbons, representing the thermocline of the gulf current and visually inspired by the aesthetic of sheet music, flow across the wall. The animals are placed along them like musical notes on the page.

In addition to the Diversity Wall, two beach murals are also incorporated into the exhibit. Painted silhouetted forms pepper the shoreline, allowing guests to place themselves directly in the scene. 

The Technique

Much of the installation for the exhibit was done in paper mosaic, a painstaking process requiring hundreds of hand-cut strips of paper to produce each animal. 

The technique was specifically chosen for its dramatic effect and ability to keep the piece scientifically accurate. Additionally, both the Aquarium and Ink Dwell were pleased with how the relief and texture of paper mosaic complements the tactile theme of Living Seashore. 

More To See

We’re excited to announce that Ink Dwell will be taking over our Instagram account over the next couple of weeks!

Follow along as they give us a behind-the-scenes look at how the art for our exhibit was created.

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