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The Pacific is Terrific

The Aquarium of the Pacific (AoP) turns 20 this year, and they’re celebrating all summer in style. From the obvious parties and member events to a series of selfie spots set up special, they’re recognizing the contributions of the community from founders to first-time attendees. Including art from members and guests!

Featured in an exhibit on the second floor of the Aquarium’s Great Hall will be five new pieces by Brian Kesinger, who is an Aquarium member, 20-year Disney veteran, Marvel artist, storyteller, illustrator, and all-around fun guy to watch draw on Instagram Live. Check out the AoP exhibit now through the beginning of September! Prints are available in the Aquarium’s gift shop along with four exclusive anniversary pins.

Kesinger will also be participating in the Aquarium’s Night Dive event on June 15 with a live drawing demonstration and signing. If you’ve never been to an event like Night Dive, they’re great! More and more museums are opening their doors at night (usually once a month or so). Usually 21+, these events feature music, drinks, and special experiences, so you should definitely ask if your local fave hosts one.

Fabulous Prizes! (They’re Pacific!)

The Aquarium of the Pacific is also celebrating with contests and costumed characters, including a new giant Pacific octopus named Gigi. And then there are prizes! Just for taking selfies or finding a statue, guests can win tickets for a return trip back to the Aquarium, VIP entry to the grand opening of the new Pacific Visions wing, an Animal Encounter experience, and other special prizes.

And one of the contests just so happens to be an art contest! Now, I know I’ve not been too keen on contests around here. However, this one doesn’t seem to be asking for anything but art and the non-exclusive rights to promote it. No entry fee, no signing away your rights. Just a display of your love for the sea with a bonus chance at a prize.

Check it out for yourself here. Artists 18 and older may enter up to three two-dimensional pieces. 20 artists will win round-trip airfare on JetBlue and have their work displayed at the Aquarium as a digital print. Each piece “must relate to the Aquarium’s history, accomplishments, animals, and/or programs” and be submitted by September 3.

So if you’ve always wanted to hang your art next to an octopus, maybe while pretending it’s your very own pet in the safekeeping of experts who know how to care for them, now’s your chance.

Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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