Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. Growing up in Jamaica, Guy spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along the Island’s south coast. He was obsessed with marine life and began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed.
Born in Lippspringe, Germany on September 16, 1955 while his father was serving as a Gunnery Officer in the British Army, Guy is a 10th generation Jamaican of English heritage as his family immigrated to Jamaica in 1664. From his early inspirations, Guy’s natural gift to recreate the underwater realm has propelled him from Professor of Marine Biology to a Wildlife Artist and Photographer. Guy initially opted for a scientific education, earning high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977. He continued his formal training at the University of West Indies, where he obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management.
In 1985, he depicted Ernest Hemingway’s famous fishing story The Old Man & the Sea through a series of 44 original pen and ink drawings and displayed them at an exhibition in Jamaica. Based on the positive response he received at the show, Guy began painting full time and by 1988 was providing custom artwork for use on a variety of products.
Guy began to travel the world to gain more knowledge of the behavior and activities of marine wildlife. He became an avid scuba diver and skilled underwater photographer. He pioneered a technique of diving and photographing free-swimming billfish. His personal observations made during these diving expeditions have better enabled him to capture the detail in his paintings that contributes to the popularity of his work.
In 2001, with permission from the Hemmingway family, Guy released Santiago’s Finest Hour, a compilation of 56 pen and ink drawings inspired by The Old Man & the Sea. Guy’s first autobiography, Portraits From The Deep, a 208 page hardbound coffee table stylebook was released in 2002. In 2004, Guy Harvey’s Portraits From The Deep, a made-for-television fishing series, debuted. Guy received a Telly Award in 2007 for a Portraits episode featuring black marlin.
Guy has collaborated with fellow marine artist Wyland to create several large scale murals in Key West, Marathon, Key Largo, Homosassa, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Guy has also created three murals on his own; including a 300’ x 50’ shark mural for Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, a 60’ x 50’ mural at Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and another large-scale mural at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman.
As an ardent conservationist, Guy has consistently supported “catch and release” fishing ethics for game fish around the world. He works closely with many conservation organizations to help protect global fishery resources. In 1986, he was selected as Jamaica’s representative to the International Game Fish Association and in 1992 was appointed as a Trustee. Guy’s support of the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo and its artificial reef program was highlighted by his sponsorship in 1997 of the sinking of a retired 185-foot ship to create the artificial “Guy Harvey Reef”. In 1998, Guy was voted the IGFA’s first ever “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the World Fishing Awards Committee. Guy was awarded the Craftsman Award in 2008 from the Construction Association of South Florida for his NSU Shark mural.
In 1999, the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and Guy Harvey collaborated to create the Guy Harvey Research Institute, an organization dedicated to solution-oriented basic and applied scientific research needed for effective conservation of the world’s wild fishes. In early 2008, Guy started the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding leading scientists as they develop new strategies for sensible fisheries management and educators, who will create novel instructional programs to stimulate future scientists and new stewards of the marine environment.
Guy currently maintains his art studio in Grand Cayman, where he lives with wife Gillian and their two children, Jessica and Alex. Whenever possible, Guy takes his family on fishing and field research trips. As a result, there is a new generation of Harveys demonstrating their father’s love and respect of the ocean and all of its creatures.