Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Street Art Festival, Cancun 2017

PangeaSeed Foundation, the international marine conservation organisation, in collaboration with Proyecto Panorama, and Cancun’ s image urban commission (CIMUC), hosted the street art festival Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans in Cancun, Mexico. The festival took began towards the end of July through to August 4th 2017,  to generate awareness and explore creative solutions surrounding the region’s marine environmental issues.

Nine renowned artists, including six from Mexico, were invited to paint nine large-scale public murals, inspired by the aquatic history of the state, in-water interactions with endangered marine life such as whale sharks, and highlighting some of the issues affecting the region as well as solutions. Some of the issues addressed included whale shark conservation, ocean acidification, plastic and pollution, overfishing, coral restoration and sustainable seafood.

Artists invited to paint were Crea (Cancun), Curiot (Mexico City), Frase Honghikuri (Guadalajara), It’ s a Living (Mexico City), Lauren YS (USA), Mateus Bailon (Brazil), Nychos (Austria), Poket (Cancun) and Saul Torbe (Mexico City).

“While we have world-class beaches and a very rich natural environment, our team always felt like something was missing, especially when it came to cultural activities … Collaborating with PangeaSeed Foundation on this project has enabled us to not only reinforce the identity of our city but also raise much needed public awareness of the issues affecting our ocean. This is very exciting.” Carolina Marín, communications director at Proyecto Panorama.

“Public art and activism can educate and inspire the global community to help save our seas. Regardless of your location – large metropolitan city or small, coastal fishing village – the ocean supplies us with every second breath we take and life on Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans … As ‘ARTivists’ we believe that using our talent to raise social and environmental awareness can inspire positive change and action. We are excited to collaborate with Proyecto Panorama to bring our unique message of ocean preservation to the Cancun community.” Tre’ Packard, Founder and executive director of PangeaSeed Foundation.

Crea’s mural was entitled ‘Xiknal’ the Mayan word for ‘Flying’,  he was searching for the balance between our Mayan land and the fauna that lives here.

 “… From destructive fishing method to plastic pollution, humans have been affecting marine bird species in our region instead of finding the right way to coexist. We must realize the importance of these animals and work together to find ways to lower our impact on these magnificent creatures of flight.” Crea

Curiot’s mural was entitled ‘Bubble Gum Falls’ and refers to the plastic life we lead which surrounds nature and pollutes it.

” …We disconnect and forget the true beauty of wildlife, the oceans, and nature. We create artificial realities and adventures, like these plastic characters in their plastic inner tubes obliviously floating toward their manmade fate, which draw attention away from the preservationof nature and our role as stewards to protect it. It’s a plastic life but we have the power to change that.” Curiot

Frase Honghikuri paints the depleting Coral Mandala, which he describes as the lungs on the planet.

“My ocean mandala depicts the delicate balance between a healthy and dying reef at the hands of humans. This mandala is a call for action and we must work together to solve the problems we have created.” Honghikuri

“Reef Keeper” is Lauren YS vision of a fictional Protector of the Reef, a goddess meant to symbolise the fierce need to care for our underwater ecosystems.

” … About 60% of the world’s reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change by 2050, all coral reefs will be in danger.” Lauren YS

Saul Torbe mural entitled ‘Symbiosis’ expresses the connection between humans and nature, focusing on marine life, especially highlighting the Mesoamerican Reef in Cancun.

“The wall reflects the symbiosis that exists between the human and the animal; shaping the narrow invisible, but not intangible link we have with these underwater worlds. In the upper part the Whale Shark disappears gradually since is an endangered marine species.” Saul Torbe

Mateus Bailon’s mural ‘The Longline in Between’ is about the commercial fishing technique Longline. This type of fishing can cause many issues, such as the killing of many other marine animals while seeking certain commercial fish.

“…While this pelican is already trapped in the longline others are about to face the same destiny as they’re getting prepared to dive into the ocean. Besides seabirds and fish, longline fishing also victimizes other sea species such as dolphins, sharks and turtles, also depicted in the bottom of the mural getting attracted by the baited hooks …” Mateus Bailon

Nychos paints a Translucent Whale Shark, a increasingly popular marine attraction in Cancun, but are still listed as an endangered species due to destructive human impacts such as overfishing and the global demand for shark fins.

Poket also paints the shark in his mural entitled ‘Shark Lovers’.

“It is feared that sharks could possibly become extinct in the next decade or two due to destructive human impact and the global trade in shark fins. Many shark species populations have declined by as much as 90%. We must act now if we wish to save sharks and our oceans.” Poket

We leave you with the wise words of Ricardo Gonalez aka Its a Living and his mural ‘Change the Future’.

“It’s never too late to change our habits, mentality or approach for our world.” Its a Living

Something that PangeaSeed Foundation is passionate about in their cause, using Art Activism to change the future, by educating all… one mural at a time.

Check out the great vibes at Sea Walls Cancun in the recap video below by The Stills Agency


Since its inception in 2014, the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans program has created nearly 300 murals in over 13 countries with 200+ artists from 25 different nationalities. To date, the Sea Walls team has painted four times and close to 100 ocean environmental themed murals in Mexico.




Photo Credit Tré Packard

Video/ Photo Credit The Stills Agency





Calling all Street Art fans

If you are holding a street art festival please get in touch with us as Graffitistreet would love to cover your event and share it with our readers.

Street artists, please drop us a line to share your latest murals and the inspiration behind them; GraffitiStreet want to know about the thoughts and ideas that breathe life into your pieces!

Or, if you are a lover of all things street art and would like to write a guest Blog post for GraffitiStreet, get in contact too! We would love to hear from you and what you have got to say.

All words and photos used must be the author’s own or the author has gained permission from the source and clearly credits the source blog. Author takes full responsibility for copyright.

Share your comments