The parents of contemporary artist Dustin Harewood recognized his artistic energy early and nurtured it by enrolling him as a Junior Member of the Brooklyn Museum at age seven.
Adding to his artistic influence, the young painter spent his teenage years in his family’s native Barbados, where he was both baffled and indelibly marked by the Eastern Caribbean island’s landscape and the strong colonial British culture.
Now a Professor of Art at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Dustin is making a splash with his series of reef paintings. Just like the sensitive ecosystem off the Florida Keys, Barbados has miles of coral reefs that face threats of contamination and deterioration from human carelessness and ocean acidification.
The artist's reef depictions titled “36 Views of a Dying Coral Reef,” are inspired by the series “36 Views of Mount Fuji” by Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusa. Viewers may find the series a call to action to protect this cherished and vital part of our ecosystem.
Dustin feels he most contributes to Florida with his teaching career.
He is heavily invested in the continued development of the growth of Contemporary Art in Florida.
WHY DO YOU THINK FLORIDA IS FAB?
My family is from the Caribbean and I lived in Barbados for many of my teenage years. Florida gives me the palm trees, beaches and weather that I like. I also get to stay close to the islands. It’s like I can get the best of the United States yet still live in the tropics.
FAVORITE FLORIDA SPOT
I’m a big kid so I like visiting Orlando a lot and I enjoy living in a laid back Jacksonville. But above all I love chilling out at least once a year in South Beach.
FAVORITE FLORIDA PRODUCTS
There are local brands that I follow especially in Jacksonville. I am a big fan of the Wolf and Cub Boutique. I am also a big fan of Springfield Street clothing brand Bonsoir Southern Flea Market and of Bold Bean Coffee Roasters products.
All images courtesy of Dustin Harewood