Mosaic Artist Creates Octopus Out of Sea Glass

 In Art Discovery, Art in Santa Barbara, Environmental Education, Explore Ecology, Family Activities in Santa Barbara, Watershed Resource Center

When Explore Ecology needed to find an artist who could create a one of a kind sea creature out of reuse materials for the Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival, we thought of mosaic artist Betsy Gallery.

Betsy Gallery is an award winning mosaic artist and Santa Barbara native whose public murals can be viewed at the Outreach Center for the Teaching of Ocean Science (OCTOS) at UCSB and at the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach.

Betsy came up with the idea of making a California Two-Spot Octopus (Octopus bimaculoides). The Octopus will be on display at the entrance to the Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival. Visitors to the Fest will have a chance to win the Octopus Mosaic in the Festival’s 2016 Raffle, which this year benefits Explore Ecology.


The octopus is specific to the Channel Islands. Its colors tend to vary according to the background. Betsy is creating it using sea glass, reuse iridescent vitreous tiles, and round glass from the Art from Scrap Creative Reuse Store. The finished piece will be 4 x 4 feet.

Betsy added another sea creature to the mosaic mural, a newly discovered “purple orb” that the Ocean Exploration Trust vessel Nautilus found in the Channel Islands, which may be a new species of nudibranch. The mural may be the very first artist’s interpretation of this marine creature.

Octopus In Process

The Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival brings together artists from across the country to display and sell their handmade, ocean-themed, and genuine sea glass art on September 10th & 11th, 2016 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The only of its kind in Southern California, the Festival attracts thousands of sea glass lovers and enthusiasts to the renowned coastal jewel of Santa Barbara.

The Sea Glass Festival Committee strongly believes in giving back to the community and chooses a nonprofit or school in Santa Barbara County to donate to. This year, they named Explore Ecology as their 2016 beneficiary. We are thrilled to partner with the Festival this year.

sea glass festival

The Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival takes place on September 10 & 11, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day at Warren Hall, Earl Warren Showgrounds. There will be an Early Bird Option Admission on Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am for those who want first viewing and first pick of the beautiful items at the Festival. Tickets are available online or at the door.

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