College for Creative Studies: Art Practice (Fine Arts)
Since his first encounter with gray whales in 1971, Wyland has become a staunch advocate for protecting the environment and arguably the world's foremost ocean artist, opening more than 40 galleries worldwide, and amassing a following of thousands of collectors.
Best known for his work on the "Whaling Walls," the artist's towering murals of aquatic animals - painted to true scale dimensions - can be found on the sides of convention centers, skyscrapers, and other large buildings in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil, and China. In July 2008, Wyland completed his 100th and final Whaling Wall mural in Beijing, China with the help of children from 115 countries around the world as an Official Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival event.
"To truly capture the beauty of the creatures, I had to paint them life size," explains Wyland, who hopes to raise consciousness about marine issues such as pollution, overfishing, oil spills, weapons testing, and coastal developments through his art.
The artist promises his commitment to marine issues advocacy and marine inspired art will continue on through the work of the non-profit Wyland Foundation. The Wyland Foundation is dedicating to promoting, preserving, and protecting our aquatic resources through education programs, public art projects, and community events.
<span class='CALLOUT'>I still brag about CCS. Bill Girrard, Jay Holland, Russell Keeter</span> - those guys were all very lively and turned me on to the different forms of art.
The multi-faceted artist has hosted several television programs, including, "Wyland: A Brush With Giants" on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet Network and "Wyland's Art Studio," a new series for public television.
Wyland credits CCS with giving him the opportunity to fulfill his dream and breakthrough making a living painting marine life. Financially challenged growing up, CCS awarded him a grant to attend their classes, where he majored in sculpture and painting and found mentors among his professors.
"I still brag about CCS," said Wyland. "Bill Girrard (painting), Jay Holland (sculpture), Russell Keeter (life drawing, painting) - those guys were all very lively and turned me on to the different forms of art."