The Georgia O’Keefe of the sea

Lattimer Reef Lighthouse. Eric Lutes.

The National Coastal and Estuarine Summit brings together passionate conservationists for a week of learning, growth, and fun! Every two years we gather in a new coastal locale, eager to learn not only from our colleagues, but the city in which we’ve gathered.

For example, in 2016, New Orleans’ Summit attendees learned about the Caernarvon Delta and got their hands dirty planting native trees. In 2018 we traveled to the Los Cerritos Wetlands outside Long Beach, California to plant native species and pull nonnative vegetation.

To highlight the local elements of our conference, each Summit we work with a local artist to develop a one-of-a-kind painting that showcases the beauty of the estuarine landscape in the region. For this upcoming 2020 Summit in Providence, Rhode Island, we are pleased to announce Eric Lutes as our official Summit artist.

Eric’s first passion is fine art and painting, but you may recognize him as the actor who played Del on NBC’s long-running hit comedy “Caroline in the City”. Eric is the son of well-known marine artist John D. Lutes, who served as an official portrait artist for the US Navy. He grew up in an art-friendly home on the East Coast. While his father’s influence can be seen in his work, Eric has developed a unique and captivating style. When painting quahogs or oysters, he has been referred to as the Georgia O’Keefe of the sea. In addition to painting and continued work in film and theater, Eric is a Senior Fellow at the Rhode Island Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island, Bay Campus.

From the sweeping waves of Charlestown beach to the rocky shores of Maine, Eric captures the strength and ever changing quality of the sea. His painting above of the Lattimer Reef Lighthouse uniquely captures the essence of life by the coast!

Learn more about the upcoming 2020 Summit, happening October 4-8, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island!

Sarina Katz is the communications & outreach manager at Restore America’s Estuaries.

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